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CLASS OF 1889 


v. 2 



This book must not 
be taken from the 
Library building. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 

Vol. II 

JANUARY, 1947 

No. 1 


Das Kelley Barnett, Editor-in-Chief 
William W. Finlator, Associate Editor William M. Poteat, Book Editor 
Almonte C. Howell, Advisory Editor Maejorie E. Moore, Advisory Editor 

Sara Lowrey, Poetry Editor 


W. O. Carver, Louisville, Ky. 

H. B. Cross, Nashville, Tenn. 
George B. Cutten, Chapel Hill, N. C. 
J. M. Dawson, Washington, D. C. 
Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. 
Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C. 
J. C. Wilkinson, Athens, Georgia 

Swan Hayworth, Vicksburg, Miss. 
Withrow T. Holland, Haynesville, La. 
Adiel J. Moncrief, St. Joseph, Mo. 
Blake Smith, Austin, Texas 
Hubert R. Howard, Jr., Tulsa, Okla. 

Fred B. Helms 
Carl Lee Ousley 
R. K. Redwine 
Marvin L. Skaggs 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 

John McGinnis 
Warren Carr 
A. C. McCall 
Wilbur W. Hutchins 


Editorials 3 

Freedoms in the Soviet Union . John B Isom " 8 

Current Trends in Religious Thought W. T. Conner ""l5 

Southern Baptists Act on the Race 

„, Problem Walter Spearman 18 

The "Average" Is Enemy to the Good 

of My Sunday School Class Marjorie E. Moore 26 

Her Name Is Mary Mrs. L. E. M. FreemanZsi 

Good Reading in 1946" William M. Poteat 32 

News 37 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July and August) bv the Bavtist 
Book Club, a non-profit fellowship of ministers and laymen Address all corbel 
pondencetoBox 508, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 ~b% f the Smtdt 
B °,?££ l l lb - S f c T d clas f maUJ/ng privilege pending. Subscription £rtee, two dollars 
a year; twenty-five cents a copy. Printed by The Graphic Press, Inc^Raleigt iNC 

Who's Who In This Issue 

JOHN B. ISOM is pastor of the Saxon Baptist Church in 
Spartanburg, S. C. and has contributed numerous book re- 
views to this magazine. 

W. T. CONNER, dean of Southern Baptist theologians, 
is Professor of Theology at the Southwestern Baptist Theolog- 
ical Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. 

WALTER SPEARMAN is Associate Professor of Journal- 
ism at the University of North Carolina and has served as 
Managing Editor of Christian Frontiers during the past year. 

MARJORIE E. MOORE lives in Richmond, Va., and is 
Managing Editor of The Commission, journal published by 
the Foreign Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Conven- 

MRS. L. E. M. FREEMAN lives in Raleigh, N. C, where 
her husband is a member of the Bible Department at Meredith 

WILLIAM M. POTEAT, secretary of the Y.M.C.A. at the 

University of North Carolina, is Book Editor of Christian 


Christian Frontiers and the Liberal Spirit 

CHRISTIAN FRONTIERS, a liberal journal of Baptist 
life and thought, is one year old today. Proudly we 
light the single candle signaling a year's publication. Our 
pride is tempered with humility. Judged by our own high 
standard, "speaking the truth in love," we have fallen short. 
Pride in our own convictions has, at times, colored our ob- 
jectivity and wounded the spirit of love. Nevertheless, we 
have tried to interpret frontier issues in the spirit of truth 
and the generous response of kindred spirits gives us assur- 
ance as we write Volume II, Number 1. 

CHRISTIAN FRONTIERS is a liberal journal. Liberal 
means free. Freedom to look at both sides of the questions. 
Freedom to withhold judgment until all the evidence is in. 
Freedom to resist that form of authority which has nothing 
to commend itself but the weight of tradition and the power 
of popular prejudice. 

This freedom of which CHRISTIAN FRONTIERS would 
be the outspoken champion is nothing more or less than an 
application of Dr. E. Y. Mullins' moral axiom, "To be re- 
sponsible man must be free." If the soul is competent under 
God to make a moral and spiritual response to the grace 
offered in Jesus Christ the soul is also competent to give a 
theological expression of the meaning of that response. 

There is a growing tendency among some Southern Bap- 
tists to deny the application of this freedom of the spirit by 
the demand that all of us use our freedom to find a pre- 
determined road. Our freedom is rapidly becoming the free- 
dom to concur with the theological conclusions of our leaders 
but not the freedom to differ. For example, the Baptist 
Student Secretaries at a recent meeting in Nashville were 
presented with a brief mimeographed page entitled, "What 
fl&We Believe." This tendency to draw up creedal statements 
W with the implication that the creed expresses the conclusions 
^ of all Southern Baptists is a denial of the soul's competency 
„ to write its own creed. As a free Baptist I do not desire to 


Christian Frontiers 

write a creed for my fellow Baptists; neither do I want them 
to write a creed for me. 

This does not mean spiritual anarchy. Freedom consists 
in finding the right master. But the right master is the 
ultimate master— the sovereign God. Recognizing God as our 
master we find as Sidney Lanier found, "the freedom that 
fills all the space 'twixt the marsh and the skies." The 
sovereign God makes His will known to us in Christ. A 
knowledge of Christ comes to us through the Holy Scriptures, 
the accumulated wisdom of the church and the individualized 
Christian experience. To make any one of these channels of 
revelation the final authority is to practice idolatry denying 
God His unconditional sovereignity. When the church is 
made the final authority, we worship the church; when the 
Bible is made the final authority, we worship a book; when 
individual experience is made the final authority, we worship 
man. In each instance the result is idolatry in its most subtle 
form, denying God His rightful sovereignity. Furthermore, 
to demand that a creedal expression of any one of these 
idolatries be recognized as normative for all Christians is 
to deny to the soul its rightful autonomy. Reverently bow- 
ing our minds and hearts before Christ, who is the inter- 
preter of the will of God, and seeking to abide in Him as he 
is made known through the Holy Scriptures, the church and 
individual Christian experience, we find the liberating truth 
that makes us free from the false authority of dogmatic 

The liberal spirit would free us from the yokes of the 
past; it must also free us from the yokes of the present. 
When the liberal spirit crystalizes into "liberalism" a new 
idolatry is created and men are again enslaved by phrase- 

Proudly we light the single candle signaling a year's 
publication, humbly we confess our shortcomings. Sincerely 
we dedicate CHRISTIAN FRONTIERS to the service of the 
Sovereign God in whose will is our peace and our freedom. 

Peace Prospects and the Red Menace 

Peace Prospects and the Red Menace 

SELDOM HAS history presented such formidable 
barriers to a peaceful understanding between nations 
as those built up between the United States and Soviet Russia. 
Everything seems to argue for and augur a war to the death 
within the next ten years. First, to use a well worn phrase, 
there is the difference in ideology. The United States is still 
a great capitalist power, in fact, the last remaining one, and 
capitalism is the sworn enemy of the Marxist way of life. 
Economically the two nations are poles apart and there seems 
to be little effort or desire on either side to do anything about 
this distance. Hence the dark and fanatical fear in this coun- 
try of any infiltration of communism into our political or 
economic life. 

In the second place, our foreign policy is being increas- 
ingly subjected to pressure from the Roman Catholic con- 
stituency in our country. Politically and religiously the 
Vatican is, or wishes to be, just as authoritarian in its control 
over the masses as Communism. The world is not big enough 
for one, let alone two, totalitarian powers, yet these powers 
have come to a death grip in Europe. Hence the widely 
propagandized and concerted effort of the hierarchy in the 
United States to lead us into a holy war against Russia. 

In the third place the professedly atheistic character of 
the Soviet regime incites much of the Protestant segment 
of America's spiritual federation to fear and hatred and to 
a vague feeling, reminiscent of the Crusades, that their 
Christian duty is to stamp out by war the heathenism of the 
heathen. This makes such Protestants ready allies of Catho- 
lic belligerency. 

In the fourth place, however loftily the Soviet leadership 
extols such phrases as "the dictatorship of the proletariat," 
we in this country know that the Russian government is not 
in the hands of the masses but is controlled by a very few 
men who can rule the life and destiny of Russia's millions 
with an iron hand as inexorable and ruthless as any dic- 
tator's. And finally, the relations between the two nations 
are so difficult because, in blunt language, the only real 

Christian Frontiers 

threat to America's undisputed military might in the world 
is the Soviet Russia, and vice versa. And so the peace so 
dearly purchased is becoming sickeningly imperilled by the 
growing rift between these two nations. 

And yet sane, if almost desperate, men and women every- 
where know that the peaceful answer can and must be 
worked out, and soon, or we shall all perish as surely as did 
Sodom and Gomorrah. Once again the prophetic and boldly 
imaginative voice of Methodism's Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam 
has been lifted among a confused people. Addressing the 
National Convocation of the Church in Town and Country in 
Des Moines, Bishop Oxnam assured his hearers that a 
"dynamic democracy holds the future" and that while "the 
world is drifting toward war" it could be averted by bringing 
power under democratic control and by establishing justice 
by the democratic processes such as the United Nations and 
by developing an American foreign policy "that faces the 
Russian issue in terms of the method of tolerance." 

"We get nowhere," continued Bishop Oxnam, "by ringing 
tocsin bells, by digging our underground caverns and making 
ready for the atomic bomb of Communism. We win the future 
by moving into the sunlight knowing democracy is a better 
society than dictatorship can build. . . . Communism makes 
no heading where plenty exists. Poverty is the open door 
through which it enters. Communism does not reach the 
heart of a man who knows he is treated justly, whether white, 
black, red or brown." 

In other words, the surest safeguard against the inroads 
of Communism in a democratic country is more democracy! 
The Rankin-Dies tactics of name calling and incitation to 
hatred and fear is representative of a mentality which has 
no other weapon, and wants none, with which to fight Com- 
munism, save words and wars. "Ideas," asserted Bishop 
Oxnam, "cannot be destroyed by military forces. An ideology 
cannot be suffocated by poison gas nor demolished by atomic 
bombs. Ideas are conquered by better ideas ... the most 
certain way to destroy dictatorship abroad is to establish 
democracy at home." And since the names of these two 
zealots for pure Americanism have been mentioned it is 
good to quote the Bishop as calling for the removal of "injus- 

Peace Prospects and the Red Menace 

tice suffered in the North and South alike by the American 
Negro to whom the Communist is whispering so insistently" 
and for the eradication of the "prejudice that stalks arro- 
gantly in anti-Semitism." 

As to the efforts of the Vatican to whip up a twentieth 
century Crusade against the Kremlin, Bishop Oxnam said: 
"Men who summon us to a holy war against Communism are 
not only declaring war on Russia, taut are diverting our atten- 
tion from the primary obligation to democratize our own 
economic, political, ecclesiastical and social life. Energy 
expended in fighting Communism, if devoted to preserving 
and extending democracy, would make totalitarianism unde- 
sirable and democracy impregnable." And this suggests a 
final comment: The nations in which Communism has made 
the smallest gains have been the so-called Protestant nations 
such as England, the Scandinavian countries, the United 
States, Canada and Australia. Is there not something in the 
very genius of Protestantism making for equality and justice 
and respect for the individual which, if exploited to the fullest, 
would ring down the curtain forever on Communism at home 
and the threat of war with Communism abroad? 

Christian Frontiers 

Freedoms In The Soviet Union 

John B. Isom 

"N WHAT is known today as the Soviet East, just 
L twenty-nine years ago, girls at the age of eight or nine 
were forced by their fathers to put on the Paranja 1 and marry 
against their will men they never had seen before. "The wife 
was a chattel in the East, a bit of man's property. In 
Uzhekistan the women slept on the bare floor, the men on 
rugs on the couch. Women did all the work of field and 
house. A woman in certain Georgian mountain clans was 
condemned to spend weeks before her confinement in solitude 
in a hut of slate. In winter time animals were brought from 
the stables to the living-hut to give birth to their young, 
women were sent from living-hut to stable. Kalmucks placed 
a woman, when in labor, on a dunghill. In the far north a 
woman gave birth to her children in an unclean, icy tent, 
aided by no human hands." 2 Female literacy was as low as 
one per cent. 

Today women in the Soviet East, as in the rest of the 
U.S.S.R., are free. The paranja is a thing of the past. Women 
are free to marry or not to marry, protected by a law that 
fixes the age of consent at eighteen. In 1939 female literacy 
in Tajik S.S.R. was 62.2 per cent, compared with one per cent 
in 1926. In twenty-nine years the women of the Soviet East 
have risen from slavery to political, economic and social 
equality with men. Working women in the Soviet Union 
receive equal pay with men for equal work. Before the 
Revolution of 1917 women in the factory worked sixteen 
hours a day. Today they work seven hours, receiving free 
medical care, compensation for loss of time during child- 
birth, and are provided with nurseries, milk-kitchens for 
infants, kindergartens and playgrounds for their children 
while they work. 3 

i A head covering made of heavy cloth — similar to a guano sack pulled down 
over the head with small openings for eyes and mouth. 

2 Hewlett Johnson, The Soviet Power, New York: Modern Age Books, pp. 232-3. 

3 Fannina W. Halle, Women in the Soviet East, New York: E. P. Dutton 
and Co., Inc. 

Freedoms in the Soviet Union 

In 1918 only eight million children were enrolled in the 
schools of Russia. In 1938 thirty-four million were enrolled. 
In the U.S.S.R. education is free for every child from the well 
equipped nursery-school right up to the university, or accord- 
ing to each child's need. In 1914 seventy-two per cent of the 
people in Russia could neither read nor write. By 1939 literacy 
in the towns was 89.9 per cent, and 76.8 in the villages. 4 No 
nation, in so short a time, has done so much to provide free 
education for every one as the Soviet Union has done. 

A people, who, prior to 1917, knew nothing of political 
democracy, under the U.S.S.R. has created the conditions for 
political freedom, that, to say the least, is more democratic 
than most of the one party States of our South. In South 
Carolina, for example, 43 per cent of the population is dis- 
franchised because of the color of the skin. 

In Russia all may vote. "Every individual of every race, 
color, tongue or creed, and of both sexes, from the age of 
eighteen years and upwards, possesses the right to an equal 
vote, a direct vote, and a vote by secret ballot. Priests may 
vote. Officials of the former Tsarist regime may vote." 3 

The censorship of the press in Russia does limit freedom 
of expression. But to say that the Russians have no freedom 
of expression is as false as the assumption that we enjoy such 
freedom without any interference. That the censorship of our 
press is less tangible does not make it unreal or ineffective. 6 

As for religious freedom in Russia, Dr. Louie D. Newton's 
report on what he saw and heard during his recent visit in 
Russia, and John Strohm's 7 report on the subject express the 
same opinion, which agrees in general with other eyewitness 
and official reports. From these reports there can be little 
doubt but that the Russian people are enjoying much more 

4 Johnson, The Soviet Power. 

5 Op. cit., p. 305. 

s George Seldes, Freedom of the Press, and Marshall Field, Freedom Is More 
Than A Word. _ 

7 John Strohm is a newspaper reporter, Baptist, Mason, and a Republican. 
He made a tour through Russia about the time or just after Dr. Newton. He 
had no official guide, talked to whom he would, went where he pleased, took 
pictures of what he liked and wrote his report without any censorship, except 
the request to tell the truth. 

!0 Christian Frontiers 

religious freedom today than prior to 1917, or during the 
early years of the revolution. At least, the churches of the 
Soviet Union do not depend upon the State for their financial 
support, which is more than you can say for the churches in 
some other countries. Neither do they depend upon a mill 
owner, or a few rich men, for their financial support, which 
is more than you can say for some Baptist churches in the 
United States. 

To say that the preachers in Russia feel free to take issue 
with the basic principles of the political, economic, and social 
order of the Soviet Union would not, in my judgment, be 
consistent with the facts. However, I believe, it would be' not 
much less true than 0. K. Armstrong's statement in the 
October issue of Christian Frontiers, when he said, "Our pas- 
tors (American) speak without fear against sin in high places 
of the government." 

In one of the largest cities of South Carolina, a few weeks 
before the Democratic primary, a newspaper editor approach- 
ed one of the pastors of a large downtown church with the 
request that he write an article in support of the argument 
that the Negro people should be permitted to vote. The pastor 
agreed that a moral principle was involved and that he per- 
sonally believed that all people, regardless of race, should 
have the right to vote. However, he declined to write the 
article. His argument for so doing was, "I am a friend of 
everybody and do not want to hurt anyone's feelings." What 
he meant is as obvious as if he had frankly said, "I do not 
have the freedom to express my opinion on that subject." 

Does the pastor of a church in a community where there 
are about two Negroes to one white person have the freedom 
to preach, "without fear," the Christian doctrine of Color 
Blind* equality? Try it. Does a preacher in a cotton mill 
village, living in a company house, depending on gifts from 
the owner of the mill to take care of a sizable share of the 
operating cost of the church, have the freedom to give, "with- 

s Margaret Halsey, Color Blind— A White Woman Looks at the Neoro New 
York: Simon and Schuster. ' 

Freedoms in the Soviet Union 11 

out fear," his moral support to the workers in their effort to 
organize a labor union? Ask one. 8 

To say that all the people in the United States enjoy, with- 
out any restrictions, all of the freedoms listed above, is just 
as false as it is to make such an assertion about these freedoms 
in Russia. But such freedoms do exist in Russia, and are far 
more commonplace in Russia today than they were before 
the Revolution of 1917. In a country where such freedoms 
were unknown, twenty-nine years ago, there is a government 
today dedicated to achieving the great freedoms that are de- 
fined and set forth in the third constitution of the U.S.S.R., 
which is, in some respects, "the most democratic constitution 
in the world." 10 * 

In the Soviet Union new freedoms have been born, such as 
the freedom from the sense of being alone in competition with 
the rest of the world for one's bread; the freedom from the 
fear of unemployment; the freedom for a people of a great 
nation to use all of its land, knowledge, means of production, 
and manpower, to produce the things that they need and 
want; freedom from the "acquisitive instinct;" the freedom 
of living in a society where personal "success is not bitter in 
the mouth because others are hurt by it;"" freedom from the 
moral debasement of race prejudice, made possible by re- 
moving the economic cause for such prejudice; the freedom to 
be challenged by, and work, with hope, toward the high 
Christian goal, "From each according to his ability, to each 
according to his needs."' 2 Such new freedoms are the off- 
spring of the great drama now being played by the Russian 
people in the creation of economic democracy. 

These freedoms have not reached maturity in Russia. 

9 It would be an interesting study to make for the purpose of determining 
just how much, or little, the voice of organized religion has been consistent with 
the accepted political and economic principles and social customs in every 
age and nation. Such a study will, perhaps, show that the preacher, who 
assumed the freedom to take issue with such principles and customs, has 
been persecuted by the religious, political, and economic overlords, whether he 
lived in the age of Amos, the age of Jesus, or that of Paul, or in our time — 
in Palestine, in Russia, or in the United States. 

io Johnson, The Soviet Power, p. 302. 

ii Harry F. Ward, The Soviet Spirit, International Publishers, p. 116. 

12 The economic motto of Communism and still the cherished goal of the 
people of the Soviet Union, even though they are at the present working under 
the motto, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his work." 

12 Christian Frontiees 

They are yet young, but they are there, having been watered 
and fertilized by the tears and blood of the Russian people. 
Their outward growth has been stunted by the hot blasts of 
war, by the long wintry winds of prejudice from lands afar, 
and by selfish individuals from within, but beneath— in the 
perpetual spring of the people's heart— the rootage has con- 
tinued to grow. For the Russians these new freedoms are 
beyond the stage of planted seeds, or pregnant dreams. To 
them they are a young orchard of freedom, having already 
borne a new definition of liberty, which in turn has nurtured 
new hopes, values, courage, unity, efficiency, and cooperation, 
inspiring the people to withstand the shock of the most 
destructive war that any nation has ever been called upon 
to endure, providing the confidence in the future to fight on 
until victory was won on the battle field, and to face the 
rebuilding of their cities, homes, and industry with spirits 

The well cultivated anti-Russian attitude and the fear of 
Communism in our country and other industrial nations can 
only be understood in the light of the influence of such new 
freedoms in Russia. The small groups of people who have 
become rich and powerful under the old economic systems 
are afraid of these new freedoms. They see, and rightly so, 
that such freedoms are incompatible with the old order that 
provided them with the opportunity to control and exploit 
the natural resources, and manpower of the world, for the 
purpose of getting and maintaining their personal fortunes 
and power. They are aware that, by perfecting these new 
freedoms, Russia can offer the common peoples of the world 
a richer and fuller way of life than can be had under an 
economy that must depend upon competition (the kind we 
now have) for efficiency, and personal profit for the incentive. 
Our economic overlords have sense enough to know that the 
economy of private enterprise (the kind they like) does not 
provide the collective freedoms necessary to use all our 
natural resources, knowledge, tools and manpower to produce 
the maximum amount of wealth. At the same time they know 
that in Russia such collective freedoms do exist and are 
providing full employment, full production, and economic 
security for all — things that they cannot hope to provide 

Freedoms in the Soviet Union 13 

under the economy that they control, which is geared to profit 
the few at the expense of the rest. Herein lies the real cause 
for their fear of Communism. 

That fear is the driving motive behind "the Great Con- 
spiracy against Russia"' 3 that started in 1917. The sole pur- 
pose of the conspiracy was, and is, that of defeating the 
experiment in Russia, and by so doing make the world safe 
for the big money of the few, and equally as important, pre- 
vent the necessity of having to make any economic reforms in 
the rest of the world. Armed forces, sabotage, and political 
demagogues were freely used. Outlaws in high places were 
tolerated and armed to be used against Russia in hopes of 
crushing the new born freedoms before they reached matur- 
ity. (We fought the Second World War to keep from being 
enslaved by some of the outlaws that got out of control. It 
is not difficult to imagine what would have become of us, if 
the people of Russia had not done most of the fighting and 
dying for us. We forget so quickly.) False propaganda has 
been continuously used, and still is, to teach the people of 
the world to fear and hate Russia. Refusing to appraise the 
progress toward freedom by the U.S.S.R. in the light of 
Russian history, with no consideration for the little they have 
had to do with, the press of the conspiracy continues trying 
to convince the world that the Russian experiment has been 
a complete failure, and that not one new freedom has come 
out of it that is worthy of our consideration. 

Nobody in the United States can escape the necessity and 
responsibility of having some kind of attitude toward Russia, 
and an opinion concerning the economic experiment that 
started there in 1917. World peace is being won or lost by 
the influence of these attitudes and opinions. How much are 
we trying to make them consistent with the historical facts 
and with the needs of the future? 

I make no claim that I know all there is to know about 
Russia, or my own country. I do claim to have been, for nine 
years, a conscientious student of the two countries. I have 
tried to appraise the political and economic philosophy, and 

13 Michael Sayers and Albert E. Kahn, The Great Conspiracy Against Russia, 
New York: Boni and Gaer. 

14 Christian Frontiers 

social values of both, as well as their motives and deeds, in 
the light of the Gospel of the New Testament. I have found, 
for myself, convincing evidence to make me say, with no little 
conviction, that we ought to thank God for the progress to- 
ward a better world that has been made in the Soviet Union; 
that in the new born freedoms in the U.S.S.R. there is a 
mighty challenge to mankind; that Communism is not our 
enemy, but that our fear of it is; that our troubles are to be 
found within, in the injustice of our practices, and in the 
moral unsoundness of some of our attitudes and assumptions; 
that we need most of all moral and spiritual leadership "on 
the forward edge of our age, at the point at which it is shap- 
ing itself into something new;"" that I pray for the vision, 
wisdom, courage, and love for others that will cause me to 
stand among the vanguards, who are fighting to shape a truth- 
ful public opinion, who are living at a risk to lay the moral 
foundation for a new civilization— a new world in which the 
common peoples of the earth may live in freedom from the 
fear of one another, in freedom from the fear of war and 

14 H. A. Overstreet, About Ourselves, p. 274. 

Current Trends in Religious Thought 15 

Current Trends In Religious Thought 

W. T. Conner 

THERE ARE two difficulties in discussing this 
question. One is the difficulty of one's own pre- 
possessions. There are certain tendencies in each one of 
us that control us to such an extent that we are liable to 
impute these to others. I recognize this difficulty. The trends 
that I think I see in religious thought generally today are 
so much to my liking that I am probably influenced some- 
what in my discussion of these trends and tendencies by my 
own prepossessions. 

A second difficulty is that of seeing the whole field. No 
man is able to do this. Each one of us is likely to see a section 
of the field and think that he is discussing the field as a whole 
when he may be discussing only a part of it. Very few men 
are able to take in the whole field in one view. I notice that 
most men in discussing current theology are discussing the 
section of the field in which they work and with which they 
are better acquainted. Recognizing these two difficulties, 
I believe, however, that one can make some general state- 
ments in regard to current trends in American thought and 
this would include in a general way English and European 
thought. Of course, European thought is not accessible to us 
at present to any large extent and only in a general way can 
one make statements about it. 

In regard to these trends, especially in America, I would 
say that first of all there is a recognition of the failure of man. 
This could not have been said, at least in so emphatic a way, 
a quarter of a century ago. A quarter of a century or more 
ago, there was evident a great confidence in man and his 
ability to guide his destiny in this life if not in the life to 
come. This applied both to the individual and to society as 
a whole. I remember very well having heard men say about 
40 years ago that the world would never see another great 
war. Since then we have had the two most horrible and 
destructive wars that man has ever known anything about. 
Back there, we had a good deal of confidence in man's inher- 
ent ability and in his perfectibility. Perhaps our thought 

16 Christian Frontiers 

was influenced somewhat by the theory of evolution as applied 
to human society. 

This confidence in man and in man's ability to take care 
of himself has now been pretty generally shattered. During 
the last quarter or half century we have made great progress 
in science. Man has learned to control and direct the forces 
of nature. He has not learned to control himself and direct 
the forces of nature to constructive ends. There is in every- 
body's mind now what we call the atomic bomb and the 
danger of its being used for man's self-destruction. In releas- 
ing what we call the energy of the atom, we seem to be getting 
close to the creative power of the universe. But the big 
question is, can this energy be used for constructive ends 
or will it be used for man's own destruction? This is the 
big question today in the minds of scientists, statesmen, and 
what you might call the common man. We do not have the 
confidence in man and his ability that we had some time ago. 
One phase of this is the doctrine of sin. Some years ago 
the idea of sin had been pretty well banished from religious 
thought as well as thought in general. This may still be 
true in the minds of some people, but I think it can be said 
for thoughtful men in the field of religion now that they are 
coming to recognize something demonic in man's nature and 
life that must be taken into account. Sin is recognized now 
as a reality in human society in a way that it was not some 
25 years ago. 

Another tendency worth speaking of is the recognition 
today of the need of theology. There was a time not so long 
ago when many religious men looked on theology as some- 
thing not worth much attention. A good many people fol- 
lowed Sam Jones in saying, "I am interested in religion. I 
don't care anything about your theology." But theology is 
the thought side of religion and men are now recognizing 
that man's mind demands its rights in religion as well as 
other aspects of man's being. Anyway, there is a more general 
recognition of the need of theology now than there was some 
time ago. What a good many people mean when they say, 
"I am not interested in theology," is the other man's theology.' 
As a matter of fact, it is not a question of whether we are 
going to have theology or not, but it is rather a question of 

Current Trends in Religious Thought 17 

whether we will have an intelligent and practical theology 
or one that is theoretical and abstract in the main. 

I think I might mention as a kindred phase, the recogni- 
tion of the need of revelation on God's part if man is to know 
God. Revelation was pretty largely ignored or denied 25 to 
40 years ago. Now it is pretty generally recognized as a 
necessity if man is to live in fellowship with God. At least 
most of the men that I read after today seem to recognize 
that the initiative in religion must come from God. There 
are still, no doubt, some humanists left among us who would 
claim that the initiative is to be taken by man, but I rather 
think their number is not so large as it was a few years ago. 
Christian leaders today would doubtless not always agree as 
to the nature and method of revelation, but I think we can 
say that most of them recognize that for man's religious life, 
revelation is a necessity and along with this, our interpreta- 
tion of religion in a reasonable theology. 

I would mention another thing which I think I see in 
present day religious thought. That is a better balanced view 
with reference to the relation of the individual and social 
aspects of religion. I do not say the personal and the social, 
but rather the individual and the social. Those who used 
to advocate the social gospel are now recognizing that along 
with the social, the individual in his relation to God must be 
recognized and emphasized. On the other hand, many of 
those who used to say that the purpose of religion was to 
save the individual are now recognizing that religion must 
also have something to say about social, national, and inter- 
national questions. I may be mistaken, but as I have just 
said, I think I see a tendency to come to what I would call 
a more constructive position on both sides of this question. 
Society cannot be changed without changing the individual 
that constitutes society. Changing social conditions will not 
change the individual unless we recognize that religion is 
fundamentally a personal matter and must adjust man's 
relations to God as a person. 

I recognize that the above statement is somewhat sketchy 
and general, but it shows some of the tendencies I see in 
what I would call the most reasonable types of present day 
religious thought. 

18 Christian Frontiers 

Southern Baptists Act On the Race Problem 

Walter Spearman 

TOURING THE FALL of 1946 Southern Baptists in 
U North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and South Caro- 
lina thoughtfully paused to consider the critical problem of 
race relations. They also took action. It was, in each case, 
forthright action, which required courage in the taking and 
will require both courage and considerable Christian deter- 
mination in the subsequent carrying out. 

In North Carolina, Baptists came out for a federal anti- 
lynching law; for equal hospitalization, education, and suf- 
frage for Negroes; for equal wages and equal treatment of 
Negroes and other races on a basis of merit; and for abandon- 
ment of the theory of any racial superiority. 

In Georgia, the Baptists deplored recent lynchings and 
called for "the application of Christian principles to allay 
growing racial tensions." They moved even further along 
the road of inter-racial understanding when they met in joint 
session with Georgia Negro Baptists in Savannah. 

In Virginia, Baptists voted to accept the recommendation 
of their inter-racial committee "to strive for better health, 
educational, and working conditions" for the Negroes — and 
also agreed to call Negroes by the titles of "Mr., Mrs., and 
Miss" and to tip their hats to Negro women. 

In South Carolina, Baptists voted condemnation of the 
Ku Klux Klan and the recently established Columbians, Inc., 
an organization in Atlanta, Ga., advocating white supremacy 
and a hate campaign against the Negroes. 

These apparently unrelated incidents not only show a 
growing liberalism on the part of Southern Baptists in their 
attitude toward the Negro, but they show — and this fact is 
even more important — an awakening realization of the duty 
of the Southern church to assume leadership in a forward- 
looking Christian movement to improve race relations. 

For one day at least the North Carolina Baptist Conven- 
tion went on record unanimously as favoring the end of 
racial segregation in the church as it adopted the report of 

Southern Baptists Act on the Race Problem 19 

its Committee on Social Service and Civic Righteousness at 
the 116th annual meeting in Asheville November 19-21. 

Protests which reached the convention from various parts 
of the state and an uneasy feeling on the part of some Bap- 
tist messengers that they might have tried to go too far too 
soon caused a reconsideration of the action, the elimination 
of the non-segregation clause by a vote of 253 to 158, but the 
retention of a strong statement favoring equal hospitalization, 
education, and voting rights for Negroes, immediate passage 
of the federal anti-lynching bill, and "fair wages and treat- 
ment on a merit basis for Negro, Chinese, Japanese, and 
Indian employees." 

Even after the watering-down of the Committee's original 
report, the resulting resolutions were declared by Convention 
leaders to be "the strongest statement ever adopted by Sou- 
thern Baptists on race relations." 

Commenting on the Convention's action, Reporter Colvin 
T. Leonard wrote: "Nor does the Convention's rescission of 
its original condemnation (of segregation) mean that it has 
compromised itself on this challenging issue. Rather, it might 
be interpreted to mean that the church, while moving out to 
meet the challenge, deems it wise for the interests of all races 
to continue a cautious but unrelenting advance .... The 
South, and North Carolina in particular, is making long 
strides forward in race relations. And it is significant that 
such liberalism as is bringing this about is not just the 
philosophy of leadership but is also the expression of what 
the average Southerner thinks. Finally, the Baptist Conven- 
tion, by its action, made it clear that it is the church's 
responsibility to set the pattern for proper inter-racial re- 

To get a clear idea of exactly what the North Carolina 
Baptists did and what they refused to do at the Asheville 
meeting it is necessary to examine the action step by step. 

First of all, the report on race relations was written by the 
Committee on Social Service and Civic Righteousness ap- 
pointed by the Convention last year and headed by Dr. Louis 
S. Gaines of Fayetteville. The full report was printed in the 
"Advance Report of the General Board of the Baptist State 
Convention of North Carolina" and circulated among the 1,360 

20 Christian Frontiers 

delegates. Dr. Gaines moved adoption of the report and the 
motion was unanimously passed, without any discussion 
from the floor. 

The paragraph which proved most controversial read as 
follows: "If there is an equality of all men by virtue of their 
relationship to an impartial creator, and an equality of all 
believers who share in the redemption of Christ, such equal- 
ities must be respected in the body of Christ, which is the 
church. Therefore, segregation of believers holding to the 
same tenets of faith because of color or social status into 
racial or class churches is a denial of the New Testament 
affirmation of the equality of all believers at the foot of the 
Cross, and alien to the Spirit of Christ, the Head of the 

Adoption of this report on Tuesday was interpreted by 
some delegates to the Convention and by many Baptists 
throughout the state to mean that every Baptist church in 
the state would be open to Negro members. Other delegates 
said that the State Convention could not order any individual 
church to open its doors to Negroes and that the statement 
adopted was simply a statement of Christian ideals of racial 
equality toward which the church should work. 

Reporting the situation in the Raleigh News and Observer, 
Robert E. Williams wrote: "Adoption of the report on Tues- 
day had caused a storm of protest and some commendation 
from all over the state; and some of the messengers today 
showed themselves as sensitive to voices from 'back home' 
as are members of the State Legislature Only about one- 
third of the more than 1,200 registered members voted and 
the charge was made that it was unfair for the Convention 
to rescind a former action with so few present, particularly 
when those who had returned to their homes included Dr. 
Louis S. Gaines of Fayetteville, chairman of the committee, 
and the Rev Das Kelley Barnett of Chapel Hill, who was the 
author of that particular section of the report. This charge 
was countered with the charge that the report, although read, 
was not thoroughly understood on Tuesday." 

Motion to strike out the second sentence of the con- 
troversial paragraph, which contained the word "segrega- 
tion," was made on Thursday by Dr. F. O. Mixon, pastor of 

Southern Baptists Act on the Race Problem 21 

the Tabernacle Baptist Church of Raleigh. After spirited de- 
bate on the floor, this motion was passed by the vote of 253 

to 158. 

One other point in the original report came up for recon- 
sideration. This was the sentence reading: "Agreeing with 
Mr. Jonathan Daniels that 'the need to eat is not racial', we 
advocate equal wages and equal treatment of Negro em- 
ployees and the passing of such legislation, both state and 
national, as will assure this fair treatment." Here the objec- 
tion was made by Charles J. Shields of Scotland Neck that 
this statement might be interpreted as favoring the Pair 
Employment Practices Commission. His amendment, which 
was adopted unanimously by the Convention, made the para- 
graph read as follows: 

"Agreeing with Mr. Jonathan Daniels that 'the need to eat 
is not racial', we advocate equal wages and equal treatment 
of Negro, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian employees, and fair 
treatment and advancement of all on a basis of merit." 

As finally adopted, the inter-racial report of the North 
Carolina Baptist Convention is a ringing affirmation of the 
fact that the race problem is a moral one and that leadership 
toward its just solution is rightly the responsibility of the 


After citing Dr. Gunnar Myrdal's assertion that The 
American Negro problem is a problem in the heart of the 
American," the report declares: 

"If the problem of race is a moral problem, then the 
direction and dynamic prerequisite to its solution must come 
from the Christian churches, for Christianity is the heir of 
the Prophets' uncompromising demand for justice and of 
our Lord's teachings expressed in the Sermon on the Mount. 
Therefore, all questions of right and wrong must be evaluated 
by the churches from the perspective of the righteousness 
of God which is in Christ. 

"Southern Baptist churches have not hesitated to bring the 
full weight of their conscience and influence to bear upon the 
social problem of liquor, but they have hesitated because of 
the tremendous pressure of unregenerate opinion, both 
within and without their churches, to turn the searchlight 
of the New Testament upon the problem of race. 

22 Christian Frontiers 

'All over the Southland there are encouraging indications 
that Southern Baptists are no longer hesitating to deal with 
this most critical of all Southern moral problems .... 

"In the light of New Testament teaching certain self- 
evident truths, which we have too long ignored, concerning 
the problem of race stand out. Any doctrine of racial supe- 
riority, whether it be the Nazi conception of Nordic suprem- 
acy, the Samurai conception of manifest destiny, or the 
Ku Klux Klan's propaganda of white supremacy, is a denial 
of the scripture, '(God) hath made of one blood all the na- 
tions of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.' .... 
"Furthermore, the New Testament affirms that the 
Christian ethics of race is powerless without the Christian 
spirit of grace. Only when men come under the atoning in- 
fluence of the death of Christ can they renounce their in- 
herited racial prejudice and be permitted to see that men 
are 'reconciled in one body under God through the Cross', 
and that 'there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither 
bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are 
all one in Christ Jesus.' The New Testament antidote for 
racial prejudice is the experience of redemption in Christ." 

Then there followed the amended paragraph which at 
first contained the word "segregation." After that came the 
following unanimously passed statement on fair treatment 
for Negroes : 

"We commend as worthy of the support of Christian citi- 
zens any effort made to equalize hospitalization, education, 
and suffrage among the Negroes. In particular, we urge fair 
and considerate treatment according to the laws of the State 
of North Carolina of Negroes seeking to qualify as voters." 

The next paragraph was the quotation from Jonathan 
Daniels and the amended statement on equal wages and 
equal treatment of employees. It was followed by the two 
concluding paragraphs, which were adopted unanimously: 

"Faced with the grim reality of 41 lynchings and the 
demonstrated hopeless inadequacy of laws to cope justly with 
this barbaric disgrace, we advocate the immediate passage 
by the Congress of the United States of a Federal Anti-Lynch- 
ing law. 

"We commend as worthy of increasing support the inter- 

Southern Baptists Act on the Race Problem 23 

racial institutes sponsored by the W.M.U., the inter-racial 
meetings held among Christian students for the promotion 
of Kingdom ends, and inter-racial ministerial associations. 
Furthermore, we advocate the wide reading and group study 
of the book, Of One, written by Dr. T. B. Maston for the Home 
Mission Board." 

If a dispassionate observer should try to appraise the real 
significance of the Baptist action and amended action at the 
Asheville Convention, he would probably agree with Reporter 
Colvin T. Leonard, who said in the Greensboro Record: 
"Action of the Baptist State Convention in Asheville this 
week condemning segregation as inconsistent with Christian 
tenets was an expression of idealism. Subsequent rescission 
of this condemnation was in the pattern of practicality. 

"The fact that the Convention did a turnabout should not 
obscure the significance of the original stand, taken by 
Southerners in the face of deep-rooted prejudices and atti- 
tudes. Indeed, it is a long step forward when a generation 
not far removed from circumstances and conditions from 
which sectional attitudes on racial relations stemmed even 
considers a declaration such as the convention report was." 
As a final postscript on the North Carolina Baptist action 
we might note the subsequent meeting of the West Central 
North Carolina Conference of the African Methodist Episco- 
pal Church held at Monroe. How the Negroes felt about the 
rescinded action was plainly expressed in a resolution which 
said: "We feel that no other agency is capable of assuring 
racial justice and equal treatment and dispelling race hatred 
and segregation like the Christian Church." The resolutions 
also pointed out that "the Roman Catholic Church has made 
declarations recently for race equality in church membership, 
equal wages and treatment regardless of race or color, and 
banning of all forms of segregation." 

In Georgia, where the recent return of Talmadge to 
power, the lynchings at Monroe, and the widely publicized 
establishment of the Columbians, Inc. have brought sadness 
and consternation to Southern liberals, an important and 
significant event in race relations took place this winter. 
White Georgia Baptists and Negro Georgia Baptists met 

24 Christian Frontiers 

Members of the Georgia Baptist Convention were meeting 
in Savannah at the same time as the Negro General Mission- 
ary Baptist Convention. The way had already been paved by 
Dr. 0. P. Gilbert's editorial in The Christian Index, publica- 
tion of the State Convention, which had suggested: "Would 
it not meet with the approval of all concerned if this signifi- 
cant gathering of white and Negro Baptists should unite 
during the session at some convenient place and there cele- 
brate the more than a century in which they have worked 
together with God?" 

The suggestion evidently did "meet with the approval of 
all concerned," for when the question was brought to the 
floor of the convention delegates voted unanimously to par- 
ticipate in the joint session and there was not even any 
unfavorable discussion. 

White Baptists adjourned their meeting and joined the 
Negro Baptists in the Municipal Auditorium, occupying 
special seats in the balcony. The Rev. Leander Asberry 
Pinkston, Negro president of the General Missionary Baptist 
Convention, called the joint session "a practical application 
of good will"; and Dr. Roland Smith, Negro religious journal- 
ist, said: "Black and white must live together in the South- 
land and the nation not as enemies or as persons suspicious 
of each other, but as friends." 

In a resolution adopted by the Georgia State Baptist Con- 
vention the recent lynchings in the state and the hate-mon- 
gering of the Columbians, Inc. were deplored and "application 
of Christian principles to allay growing race tensions" was 
called for. 

The action of the Baptists in Savannah did not go un- 
noticed by other denominations. Some weeks later the white 
Asbury Methodist Church in Savannah featured an address 
by a Negro college president, Prof. Benjamin F. Hubert of 
Georgia State College, a four-year Negro institution, on "What 
Religion Means to Me." The meeting was sponsored by the 
intermediate division of the church. Mrs. James Reese, a 
young people's worker at the Cavalry Baptist Church, spoke 
on the same program on "Universal Fellowship." Church 
leaders pointed out that this program was the first in their 
memory to feature a Negro speaker. 

Southern Baptists Act on the Race Problem 25 

While these things were happening in Georgia, another 
step was being taken in Virginia. The Inter-racial Committee 
of the Virginia Baptist Convention, under the chairmanship 
of W. Wesley Schrader, carefully reviewed the recommenda- 
tions of previous inter-racial committees for the past 10 years 
on such questions as separation in public carriers, discrim- 
ination in employment, lack of equality in educational advan- 
tages and facilities, and prejudiced voting status, then said: 

"In spite of the indisputable fact that conditions are little 
improved we refuse to believe that our fellow Baptists have 
been grossly insincere in affirming a faith in the equalization 
of privileges for the people of all races. 

"It is the recommendation of the Committee that we con- 
tinue to voice our articulate opinions and to a greater degree 
strive for better health, educational, and working conditions 
of our weaker brethren. The Committee further suggests that 
in our private lives we extend to each and all the customs 
and courtesies of the hour. To the Negro physician, teacher, 
and minister, we shall address him as we do others of similar 
standing and to the Negro maiden we shall say, 'Miss,' and 
to the Negro lady, 'Mrs.,' and to both we shall tip our hats." 

The South Carolina Baptists, meeting in Columbia, went 
on record as condemning the revival of the Klu Klux Klan 
and the establishment of the Columbians. They also charged 
that race tension in the South has been fostered by certain 
groups "to further their economic and political interests." 

As each of these steps is taken in each of these Southern 
states, not only do the Baptists approach more closely their 
ideal of Christian brotherhood but they also give encourage- 
ment and support to other individuals and other groups in 
the South who would agree with Dr. Gunnar Myrdal that the 
so-called "Negro problem" is primarily in the hearts of the 
white people, where it must be solved as well as in the courts 
of the land and in the legislative halls of the government. 

26 Christian Frontiers 

The "Average" Is Enemy To The Good Of 
My Sunday School Class 

Marjorie E. Moore 

NOBODY EVER had a new idea who was not later 
embarrassed, if he released it, by the perversions or 
the abuses of it. Sunday school methods are no exception. 

The well-known six-point record system in common use 
in Southern Baptist Sunday schools has done much to cul- 
tivate wholesome habits of church membership. It has done 
some harm. 

So thoroughly has the idea of the record system's impor- 
tance permeated Baptist life that the invitation to member- 
ship in the business girls' Bible class of my church is 
declined in this way: "I can't be here every Sunday, and I 
don't want to pull your average down." 

At first I took this as an excuse, a way to avoid saying, 
"No." Now I accept it as a mistaken though honest reason 
for refusing to enroll. I have a stock answer: "The average 
is not important to us. You are. None of our members attends 
this Sunday school every week. You will be welcome as a 
member or as a visitor, any time you can attend our class." 

I mean it. Gradually I am able to convince them. Nobody 
is more in need of a personal, intimate relationship to a 
Christian church than the young adult business girl in a 
city. When she makes the effort to come to church at 9:30 
on Sunday morning, she deserves a chance to worship, to 
study the Bible, to pray, and to mingle with Christian young 
women. The ministry of the church to business girls 25 to 
35 years of age is my chief avocation. 

Eighteen months ago, the Young Adult Department of 
50 members in a church of 3,000 members was reorganized 
to accommodate returning veterans and their wives. Four 
classes were provided: one for young men, one for young 
mothers, one for young wives not yet mothers, and one for 
business girls. I accepted the responsibility for teaching the 
group to which I naturally belonged. 

My qualifications for the job were not impressive, al- 

The "Avekage" is Enemy to the Good 27 

though no other member of the class has to her credit a year 
of Bible in college and two years at Woman's Missionary 
Union Training School. Failure to prepare for each Sunday's 
lesson would be more impressive to this group! In their eyes 
my main qualification is the "Miss" before my name and my 
40-hour-a-week job. 

The class has grown. In a city where women outnumber 
men by several thousand, and in a church where women out- 
number men two to one, it should grow phenomenally. In 
fact, for the possibilities which the census shows in the 
vicinity of the church, our Young Adult Department should 
have three classes for "white-collar" girls. 

The group now numbers 38, of whom only 28 can possibly 
oe seated at one time in the only classroom available to us 
outside the church auditorium. 

We rarely fill the room. Many of the members spend 
every other weekend with their families in rural Virginia, 
(and quite a few go to Sunday school at home). Three have 
automobiles of their own, work five days a week, and take 
Saturday and Sunday for trips to the mountains or the 
beach. After an intensive week's work, a business girl is 
compelled to stay in bed a half day on Sunday, and occasion- 
ally a class member frankly admits that as the reason for 
her absence. 

It is a standing joke among us that the B.G. Class does 
things by halves— half of the members attend one Sunday, 
the other half the next— but the department and the church 
have observed that any project our class undertakes is more 
than 90 per cent successful. The Sunday-to-Sunday class 
record is a matter for the seven class officers to consider in 
monthly cabinet meeting, but even there, the individual mem- 
ber, not the "average," is our prayerful concern. 

Absence from class meetings, Sunday or during the week, 
never brings a scolding; attendance is rewarded by personal 
interest, a spirit of genuine appreciation, and a growing 
class fellowship rooted in a common serious purpose. 

My major opportunity as I see it is in terms of Christian 
stewardship. To study the Sunday school lesson regularly 
with the needs of these particular girls in mind is one of the 
most exhilarating experiences of my life. What has the 

28 Christian Frontiers 

Bible to say about the modern business girl? What is the 
Christian philosophy of life for a single girl of 30 in this city, 
in this region, and in this world today? How can a Southern 
bachelor girl be a Christian steward of her income, her time, 
her job or profession, her creative instincts and capacities? 
More specifically, what does the story of Lydia offer 
Genevieve, my member who works in a tobacco plant as 
research technician, the sole support of her widowed mother 
and the moral support of her invalid sister? For Mary 
Katherine, the grass widow with a seven-year-old daughter, 
a stenographer's income, and a wretched place to live? For 
the bride-to-be engaged to a Catholic she met at the U.S.O. 
three weeks before he sailed for Europe? For Josephine, the 
high school algebra teacher who sponsors all the school social 
affairs but has no opportunity to meet eligible men of her 
own age and admits she does not consider education her 

Three-fourths of the class are office workers, two are 
nurses, three are teachers, others have similar jobs. The range 
in salary of the members is approximately $100 to $300 a 
month. Their educational opportunities vary radically; one 
left school in the eighth grade, one is a candidate for her 
doctor's degree, three have master's degrees. About half the 
members board; several live with their parents or other re- 
latives; a few share an apartment with other bachelor girls. 

The majority are normal girls with simple problems. 
Some few are facing the toughest problems they will ever 
have to solve. Without betraying their confidence I can sug- 
gest what those members require of their Sunday school 

Mary joined the class a year ago. Soon afterward she 
went to a hospital for treatment by a neuropsychiatrist. She 
has improved steadily since then and shows keen interest 
in Sunday school. Recently she exclaimed, "I wish my church 
believed in Sunday school for adults. This class means every- 
thing to me." Lately I walked several blocks with her after 
church, and she confided what was to her a disgraceful 
secret, that she had attempted suicide several years ago. I 
am now in touch with her doctor, without her knowledge, 

The "Average" is Enemy to the Good 


to make sure that I shall co-operate with him and in no way 
interfere with his treatment of the case. 

Miriam is a grade teacher. She asked me to go riding with 
her one day and told me her story. After 16 years as a prin- 
cipal of a small country school, she decided she was getting 
into a rut, and applied for the hardest job the city system 
offers. Now she has 16 boys 15 years old with police records. 
One misstep on the part of any one of them means he goes 
"up the river" for good. 

"I come to Sunday school to recharge," Miriam said with 
desperate earnestness. "Those boys' lives depend on me. I 
can't let them down." 

Now I know most of them by name although I have never 
met them. Whenever there is opportunity, Miriam and I 
talk over her most recent problems. I do little more than 
listen; she has the job well in hand but she has to have some- 
body to think it out with from time to time. 

Geraldine is a sort of baby sister in the class, only 19. She 
got in by mistake, but she was a total stranger in the city 
and it seemed unwise to insist that she join a class of her 
own age group after she attended ours several Sundays. She 
is an orphan who accepted Christ within the year she first 
attended church, at the age of 13. Recently a copy of her 
birth certificate fell into her hands, and she was shocked to 
discover that her birthplace was Brooklyn instead of the 
Southern town in which she had thought she was born, and 
the name of her parents as recorded, she had never heard of 
before. The name she has was given her by a foster family 
who forced her out of their home when she was a school girl. 

"Where in the Bible does Jesus say we should have so 
many denominations?" Geraldine asked me in a letter a few 
months after she joined our class. She never speaks during 
class session but is eagerly friendly when spoken to and 
shows a child-like affection for the teacher. Later I received 
from Geraldine a packet of ten or more leaflets, cheaply 
printed and poorly designed, titled "Why It Is a Sin to 
Dance," "The Bible Says Smokers Go to Hell," and similar 
captions. When I saw her again I promised to discuss these 
with her when we had opportunity, but the evening she came 
home from church with me she wanted to tell me about her 

30 Christian Frontiers 

fiance and she showed little concern about the denominational 

The resources of the unmarried business women of any 
Baptist church are limitless. When tapped for the kingdom of 
God on earth, they are a vitalizing force in the community. 
To help bachelor girls cultivate Christian attitudes toward 
race, labor, money, work, war, vice, commercialized amuse- 
ments, and all the major issues of life as they know it, in 
addition to the basic problems of adjustment as single women 
in a sex-crazed world, is to give to society one of its strongest 
assets. It is this result, and not the "average," that I con- 
sider important. 


Mrs. L. E. M. Freeman 


Her name is Mary. I don't remember her last name. It 
doesn't make any difference, she is just our servant. She is a 
young woman— married I guess, because she has some children. 
She seems to be rather intelligent, and is 'clean and mannerly. 
Really we are rather lucky to have her because I can trust her 
and she knows how to work and knows her place and is always 
respectful. Lucky, too, to get her for $5 a week, with servants 
so scarce and so high. 


We have decided to call the Negro women who come to our 
interracial meetings by the same title we do the white women, 
that is, Mrs. Jones and Miss Smith. And, well— Mary is one of 
our group! But now I will have to call her Mrs. Jones. You see 
I have learned her last name. And since I don't meet her as a 
servant, but as a fellow Christian, I am beginning to see that 
she is a fine individual, with the same impulses and joys and 
sorrows and needs and hopes I have. Her children are in 
college too, doing well. She is as poised and thoughtful as any 
of the white women. I am beginning more and more to forget 
the color distinctions in that group. With our eyes closed in 
prayer we don't know whether the face of the one praying is 
black or white, unless we recognize the voice. And how at home 
they seem praying. They really talk to God. I am glad to be 
able to stop calling her Mary, and call her Mrs. Jones, as befits 
her dignity and womanliness. 


How I have changed. First she was Mary, called that to 
indicate that she was my subordinate, an inferior, my servant 
to do my bidding. It kept her "in her place." I have found 
since, that she didn't belong in the servant class, but under 
financial stress was big enough to be willing to be a servant. 
Then I grew to see that she was worthy of the dignified simple 
title. And so she became Mrs. Jones. 

But since we have been in committee meetings and in group 
meetings these last three years, we have become friends. We 
write to each other when separated. She is Mary agam. But 
what a difference in the content of the name. Now, it is the 
first name because of understanding and friendship. 

£? Once again, her name is Mary- 


'Good Reading in 1946' 

William M. Poteat 

Perhaps nothing is more arbi- 
trary and subject to individual 
whim than one's taste in books — 
unless it be one's taste in neck- 
ties. This is why we have always 
found Book-of-the-Month Clubs 
of little help— just as would be 
a Garment-of-the-Month Club, or, 
as Irwin Edman has suggested, 
an Idea-of-the-Month Club. It 
seems to us that all of these mat- 
ters depend so much upon what 
one's needs are that selections 
for mass distribution and mass 
consumption are quite valueless. 
It is doubtless even truer to 
say these things of end-of-the- 
year lists of books, selected by 
book reviewers, since the choice 
is limited to the books that the 
reviewer has read and since his 
choice at any one time may de- 
pend upon the condition of his 
liver — or upon pure caprice. 

The Book Department of Chris- 
tian Frontiers does not intend, 
therefore, to hand down a pon- 
tifical opinion upon the "Best 
Books of 1946," demanding that 
its readers rush out to the corner 
book-store to buy this or that 
book before it is too late. The 
most that we can do is to recall 
some of the reading which we 
have found valuable in relating 
Christianity to the world and 
both to ourself. What follows is 
a list of books, which might be 
twice as long or half as long, 
which have been found stimu- 

lating in our situation, revealing 
of the world's state of mind, and 
commendable to all who are in- 
terested in either. 


Revelation and Reason, by 
Emil Brunner, published by 
Westminster Press; Faith and 
Reason, by Nels F. S. Ferre, pub- 
lished by Harper and Bros. 

The incommunicability of the 
concept of revelation to a culture 
such as ours, stamped by the 
empirical demands of science on 
the one hand and by the narrow- 
ly rational demands of philoso- 
phy on the other, has created a 
great need for and given cur- 
rency to many books which seek 
to make the opposition between 
reason and revelation intelligible 
to modern man. This is no small 

These two books, in a sense, 
hold both that there is and that 
there is not an opposition be- 
tween revelation and reason. 
There is an opposition in the 
sense that the aspects of human 
experience with which they seek 
to deal are fundamentally differ- 
ent. They are not opposed in the 
sense that the findings of each 
may complement one another as 
parts of man's total knowledge 
of his situation without violating 
each other. 
At the same time, both Ferre 

Good Reading in 1946 


and Brunner insist upon the ul- 
timacy of revelation as funda- 
mental to Christian Faith. The 
study of these two books to- 
gether, and they are to be studied 
and not merely read, will pro- 
vide an interesting experience 
because it will juxtapose the 
best theological thought to come 
from the continent with the best 
of what is being written in 


Justice and the Social Order by 
Emil Brunner, published by Har- 
per and Bros. 

American Christianity has al- 
ways been activist. Large seg- 
ments of it have never at any 
one time been aggressively so- 
cially conscious in any compre- 
hensive or comprehending way; 
it has often been timid and naive. 
There has, however, never been 
a great dearth of writing on the 
subject of Christianity's social 
responsibilities in concrete terms. 
But just as America has not 
produced— until recently— theol- 
ogy of world imminence, so it 
has failed to produce much of 
significance that seeks to relate 
the social responsibilities of 
Christianity to its theological 
roots. One thinks only of Walter 
Rauschenbusch and a few others. 
Too much is not being and can- 
not be written to interpret the 
social order to the Church. Too 
little may very easily be written 
to undergird with revealed values 
the moral demands of "sociology" 
written from Christian perspec- 
tives. This is why a book such 

as Brunner's is of such tremend- 
ous importance. Yielding no- 
thing to the moral activism which 
is familiar to Americans, it is at 
the same time a searching, some- 
times ponderous, but never un- 
rewading examination of the 
conceprt of justice which, Brun- 
ner says, is destroyed by relativ- 
ism in the modern world. 

After an astringent study of 
the basic problem of justice, 
Brunner relates it to concrete 
issues in modern life such as the 
economic order and world gov- 
ernment. This is a basic book, 
it will demand much of its read- 
ers; but it will reward in equal 


Discerning the Signs of the 
Times by Reinhold Niebuhr, pub- 
lished by Charles Scribners and 

Preaching as a sign of its time 
is long overdue for a revolution 
in the general cultural crisis of 
our time. Art, music, poetry, 
general literature, all the arts 
which serve to interpret man's 
life to him at any time, have in 
our age felt the pressures of 
inner restlessness and a sense of 
inadequacy which in every in- 
stance has produced a revolution 
in their form and substance 
which seeks more adequately to 
Interpret man to himself in the 
middle of the twentieth century. 
No such ferment is manifest in 
large areas of the preaching that 
we hear and read. 

Discerning the Signs of the 
Times is the most significant 


Christian Frontiers 

book of sermons of 1946, we be- 
lieve, simply because it suggests 
the possible direction of the 
revolutionary turn which preach- 
ing ought to take. The sermon 
on "Today," "Tomorrow," and 
"The Eternal" and that on "The 
Peace of God" are as different 
from some of our worst senti- 
mentalities as Isaiah 6 is from 
a story in Colliers. 


The Meeting of East and West 
by F.S.C. Northrop, published by 
Macmillan and Co.; Last Re- 
prieve! by Edwin McNeill Poteat, 
published by Harper and Bros. 

We have selected a very long 
book and a very short book in 
this field, both of which in very 
different ways seek to bring 
some freshness to the problem 
of the crisis in values in modern 

Northrop's book is an amazing 
performance by a mind unimag- 
inably comprehensive in its 
scope. It is an effort to find a 
philosophical basis for world 
culture. In pursuit of such a 
basis, Northrop examines the 
theoretic interests of the West 
and the aesthetic interests of the 
East and seeks to demonstrate 
the way in which the two to- 
gether can contribute to the 
establishment of cultural pre- 
suppositions adequate for a world 
made abruptly a neighborhood 
but not yet a community. 

Last Reprieve? is much more 
modest in what it attempts, but 
equally successful in achieving 
what it has sought. The book is 
the amplification of a lecture de- 

livered to the American Society 
for the Advancement of Science 
and as such proposes that science 
in an age in which the language 
of science is idiomatic assume the 
responsibility for enunciating a 
system of ethics for our own 
time in its own terms. 


Essay on Rime by Karl Sha- 
piro, published by Reynal and 

An essay in poetry such as this 
by one of America's outstanding 
young poets is important to any- 
one who is seriously concerned 
with the spiritual problem of 
man as interpreted by modern 
poetry. This criticism of modern 
poetry is not only itself a judg- 
ment upon the culture of our 
time but is a judgment upon its 
judges, the poets. The poem is 
divided into three sections: The 
Confusion in Prosody, The Con- 
fusion in Language, The Confu- 
sion in Belief. The last of these 
is particularly illuminating. 


The Stranger by Albert Camus, 
published by Alfred Knopf. 

This short novel is recommend- 
ed because of the insight it gives 
into the state of mind of the 
European intellectual who has 
been crushed by the experience 
of war. Written by a man who 
has been identified with the 
French Existentialists, that 
school of philosophy which has 
appropriated the pathos and ab- 
surdity of Kierkegaard's thought 
and rejected its Christian disci- 

Good Reading in 1946 


plines, the story illustrates the 
utter nihilism of the advanced 
guard in Europe and, therefore, 
helps once again to demonstrate 
the character of the effacement 
of the human image in our gen- 


Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte, 
published by E. P. Dutton and 

As the author, a former Italian 
journalist of suspicious affilia- 
tions, says in his own preface, 
this is "a horribly gay and grue- 
some book." It is the story of 
the fall of Europe, and, as Clifton 
Fadiman has said, Americans will 
have to read it if they hope to 
understand the spiritual sham- 
bles which is Europe. Malaparte 
brings to this gay analysis an art 
which makes his book literature 
and a subjective appreciation of 
the sickness which is fascism 
which makes Kaputt an exciting 
piece of reading as well as 
shrewd, subtle and macabre so- 
cial analysis. 


The Wild Flag by E. B. White, 
published by Houghton Mifflin. 

This little book, a collection of 
editorials from the pages of 
America's most urbane and so- 
phisticated—and most perceptive 
— magazine, has more godd sense 
in more good writing per page 
than anything written during 


P. O. Box 2144 
Fort Worth 1, Texas 

Editors, Dec 6, 1946. 

Christian Frontiers, 

Chapel Hill, N. C. 

Dear Sirs: 

Professor Poteat's article on 

the condition of church music 

among Southern Baptists has 

come almost as the "voice of one 

' crying in the wilderness." 

He rightly places emphasis on 
the type of hymnal that is offer- 
ed to our churches. In connec- 
tion with this, it may be said that 
in 1926 the Northern and South- 
ern Baptists cooperated to give 
us The New Baptist Hymnal, a 
rather good denominational 
hymnal. The value of this book 
is demonstrated by the fact that 
its popularity has increased with 
the years, so that today it prob- 
ably enjoys the widest use among 
Southern Baptists in its history. 
No serious criticism can be made 
of this book as to the quality of 
the material that it contains. 
However, this book is now 20 
years old, and the time has long 
passed for it to be revised and 
supplemented. For example, it 
does not include many of the best 
tunes of Protestant hymnology, 
from the ancient "Dundee" and 
"Passion Chorale" to the modern 
"Finlandia" and "Sine Nomine." 
It is especially deficient in Ger- 
man chorales and Welsh tunes, 
two of the richest sources of 
modern hymnology. As to texts, 
there are many worthy hymns, 
both old and new, which should 
be added. In this day, the need 
is especially great for hymns on 


Chkistian Frontieks 

brotherhood, social action, and 
international friendship and 

To fill this need for expanding 
the hymnal, the Judson Press 
produced Christian Worship in 
1941. This is probably the finest 
hymnal ever to come from the 
Baptists in America. However, 
instead of working with the 
Southern Baptists to make this 
book, the Northern Baptists this 
time turned to the Disciples. Why 
was this? I cannot believe that it 
was solely due to ecumenical 
preference among Northern Bap- 
tists. Indeed, our Sunday School 
Board had just the year before 
released a new song book of its 
own. Is it too much to assume 
that they were not interested in 
putting a good hymnal on the 
market at that time? 
. Let us look then at what our 
own publisher gave us while the 
Judson press was preparing a 
wonderful hymnal: 

In the first place, although it 
is called a hymnal, as that word 
is correctly used, it is not a 
hymnal at all. The experience 
and good judgment of the years 
have gradually evolved a pattern 
of arrangement and format for 
hymnals in America which has 
proved very satisfactory to those 
acquainted with the field of 
hymnology. It seems that the 
Sunday School Board has never 
heard of this, for its publication 
lacks any semblence of good 
order or classification. 

We have pointed out that there 
is much good material that 
should be added to the New Bap- 
tist Hymnal; however, this later 
book, instead of doing this has 
actually omitted much of the 

good in the earlier one! Instead 
of improving what they had, they 
have thrown away much of it. 

However, the really serious 
criticism of this book is not of 
its sins of omission but its sins 
of commission. Professor Poteat 
points out a few examples of 
what is degrading in church 
music. The editors of this book 
have been particularly successful 
in collecting songs of this type. 
Professor Poteat points out three 
bases for judging the quality of 
hymns. He knows, and so should 
our denominational leaders, that 
these principles are not in opera- 
tion out in the typical Southern 
Baptist church. Instead, it is up 
to our leaders to give the people 
what they ought to have rather 
than giving them a little bit of 
everything and hoping that they 
will choose the best. As a matter 
of fact, we are left to wonder if 
the leaders themselves are cap- 
able of evaluating hymns. With 
leadership goes the responsibility 
of leading in the right direction. 

The Board has become the heir 
of the Coleman tradition. The 
dangers of this are apparent. Yet 
think of the opportunity! For the 
first time, our denomination has 
a virtual monopoly on the hymnal 
market of our churches. Here 
is the first real chance to give 
our people a modern, high qual- 
ity hymnal. Why cannot we now 
have a good revision of "The 
Baptist Hymnal" made by men 
who know the field of hymnology, 
music leaders of good judgment, 
with all other competing publica- 
tions completely withdrawn from 
the market? 


Joseph F. Green, Jr. 


Tales From Vienna Woods 

By Jack Armor 

Paris. (WP) — Men, women and 
children carry loads of wood on 
their backs from the famed 
Vienna woods for a little heat 
in the early freezing weather 
that heralds Austria's bitterest 
winter in modern history. Hos- 
pitals have virtually no heating 
fuel. Coal is not to be had, even 
on the black market. Electricity 
is turned off five hours a day. 
Lack of winter clothing, coal, 
housing and food has led to 
growing mass discontent and so 
forced the government head Leo- 
pold Figl, to plead with the Big 
Four occupying powers to send 
in relief shipments of coal, food 
and medicine before the expected 
cold winter brings accumulating 
disaster down on Austria. 

While hospital beds are down 
to 2,500 for Vienna and 5,500 for 
the entire country, medicines 
and surgical instruments are 
lacking. Vienna's normally high 
tuberculosis rate is at its peak, 
with 31,000 active cases and more 
than 2,300 deaths from this cause 
in the first six months of 1946. 
Typhoid, diphtheria and infan- 
tile paralysis are increasing. 
Syphilis is 20 per cent above last 

With insufficient medicine, a 
severe housing shortage which 
forces many people to live in the 
same apartment, and consump- 
tion of food at 1,200 calories a 
day — slightly more than half the 

subsistance minimum — disease is 
destroying the workers. Adults 
are 15-20 pounds under weight, 
according to official statistics. Ex- 
amination of 64,000 school child- 
ren showed 65 per cent under- 
nourished, 25 per cent dangerous- 
ly so. The future generation is 
paying for the war right now. 

Suicides in Vienna have reach- 
ed "alarming proportions," police 
officials say. Whereas in Septem- 
ber there were 46 suicides, in the 
last few days of October alone 
there were 50. A large percent- 
age of suicides left letters ex- 
plaining that they could not get 
food. In some cases, women left 
notes saying they could not sup- 
port their children. 


Geneva (RNS)— Almost a quar- 
ter of a million dollars' worth 
of foodstuffs has been purchased 
by the Material Aid Division of 
the World Council of Churches 
for projected child-feeding pro- 
grams in Germany, Finland, Po- 
land, Czechoslovakia, Austria, 
and Hungary, according to the 
agency's monthly report. Sup- 
plies include canned meat, vege- 
table soup, oleomargarine, and 
milk powder. 

The report disclosed that eigh- 
ty tons of glass have been bought 


Christian Frontiers 

in Czechoslovakia for windows of 
churches in Hungary, and that 
eighty collapsible bicycles used 
by paratroopers have been pur- 
chased from army surplus sup- 
plies for use by pastors in Germ- 

Other interesting items in the 
report are: two wheelbarrows 
were sent to Austria to aid 
church groups in handling relief 
goods; a portable organ was sent 
to a theological school in Berlin; 
and 1,500 yards of black cloth 
were purchased to help provide 
pastors' robes. 


Geneva (I.C.P.I.S.)— The situa- 
tion of Protestantism in Spain 
is still extremely precarious. At 
the time of the promulgation of 
the "Fueros de los Espanoles" it 
had been hoped that true religi- 
ous liberty would gradually be 
granted. But subsequent deve- 
lopments have shown that Spain 
still maintains in many essential 
respects a regime of religious op- 

The "Fueros" acknowledged in 
fact only the right to hold private 
services of worship. Wherever 
public services are held they are 
merely tolerated, but not official- 
ly allowed. Moreover, the Pro- 
testant Churches suffer from the 
following further restrictions: 

Protestants still have to send 
their children to schools where 
the "official" Roman Catholic re- 
ligion is taught to all pupils and 
have no right to open their own 

Protestants have no right to 

publish, their own literature, 
since all such literature needs 
the Roman Catholic imprima- 

Protestants have no right to be 
married according to civil law. 
Those who are baptized as Ro- 
man Catholics are considered as 
Roman Catholics for the whole 
of their life. 

Protestants are not being ac- 
cepted for public offices even if 
they are perfectly able to fulfil 
such positions. The argument 
used in such cases is that "the 
State is Catholic." 

Protestants are not allowed- to 
proclaim the Gospel freely. 


Des Moines, Iowa (RNS)— If 
business leadership as a result 
of the elections approaches ec- 
onomic problems in terms of 
"breaking labor," an era of econo- 
mic conflict will follow, Bishop 
G. Bromley Oxnam, of New 
York, president of the Federal 
Council of Churches, said in an 
interview here. 

Bishop Oxnam was here to par- 
ticipate in the National Convoca- 
tion on the Church in Town and 

"If business leadership," he 
said, "takes seriously the ethical 
ideas of religion and cooperates 
with labor, seeking honest so- 
lutions in terms of the common 
good, the future may be bright. 
If not, it is a dismal prospect 
that we face. 

"The common people are not 
going to be crossed or coerced 
any more by privilege." 



Here and There With the Baptists 

Texarkana, Ark. — The Arkan- 
sas Baptist Convention went on 
record here as opposed to cur- 
rently publicized proposals for 
state - owned or state - controlled 
liquor stores. The group also 
adopted a resolution "decrying 
the use of tobacco among our 
people," and another asking 
President Truman to recall his 
representative to the Vatican.. 

Adopting a report of its Com- 
mittee on Prohibition, the Con- 
vention protested against the 
federal government's encourage- 
ment of "bootlegging" by issuing 
federal licenses to sell liquor in 
dry territory. It was reported 
that there are 787 federal licenses 
compared to 504 state permits 
in Arkansas. Church forces have 
been able to ban sale of all alco- 
holic liquors in 31 of the state's 
75 counties through local option 

The report also noted that 
"many church members are 
drinking, causing leaders to side- 
step the liquor issue," and urged 
Baptists to "be total abstainers 
and to oppose the liquor traffic." 

Another report took cognizance 
of the Convention's resolution of 
two years ago to repay all of a 
$600,000 moral obligation which 
resulted from the compromise 
settlement of a $1,000,000 indebt- 
edness during the depression. 
The Rev. E. C. Brown, of Blythe- 
ville, reported that the Baptists 
have paid about half of the 
$600,000 and urged 25,000 mem- 
berships in a Baptist Honor Club, 
each member paying one dollar 

monthly during 1947, which plan 
would retire the full obligation 
by the end of next year. 

Oakland, Calif. — A crusade to 
rechurch Southern Baptists who 
came to California during World 
War II from 20 Southern states 
will be started during the com- 
ing year, according to a decision 
reached at the sixth annual con- 
vention here of the Southern 
Baptist churches of California. 

The convention voted to invite 
the 1948 meeting of the Southern 
Baptist Convention to California. 
The slogan "Golden Gate in '48" 
was adopted and will be present- 
ed at next year's national meet- 
ing of the denomination in St. 

Admittance of Southern Bap- 
tist churches in California to the 
national convention of the de- 
nomination in 1942 was viewed 
as an infringement on Northern 
Baptist territory, and there since 
have been meetings of repre- 
sentatives of both groups in at- 
tempts to create a working agree- 
ment between the two Churches. 

Montgomery, Ala. — Alabama 
Baptists contributed $6,000,000 
for church activities in 1946. 

A. Hamilton Reid, executive 
secretary of the State Baptist 
Board, said it was the largest 
yearly collection on record. 

He said 2,500 Baptist churches 
in Alabama are planning an un- 
precedented program when ma- 
terials become available. 


Christian Frontiers 

Chicago— Only 38 per cent of 
the ministers of the Northern 
Baptist Convention have stand- 
ard college and seminary educa- 
tion and 48 per cent lack even 
two years of college and three 
years of seminary training. 

These statistics were reported 
at a meeting of the denomina- 
tion's committee on theological 
education here. 

The survey also revealed that 
there is a declining interest in 
ministerial training among edu- 
cated young American men; that 
the demand for trained pastors 
far exceeds the supply; that the 
churches are offering salaries far 
below those of other trained 
professions; that the rural field 
has been "practically abandoned" 
to untrained or poorly trained 
clergy, and that individual 
churches are often indifferent to 
maintaining high ministerial 

Louisville, Ky. — A trailer camp 
for students will be erected by 
the Southern Baptist Theological 
Seminary here to help solve the 
housing shortage during the 
school's present record enroll- 
ment. In granting the seminary 
permission to erect the project 
adjacent to its campus, the Louis- 
ville Board of Zoning Adjust- 
ments and Appeals said the camp 
could not be used after June 1, 

New York — A "Sunday of 
Sacrifice" for world relief and 
rehabilitation was observed 
throughout churches of the 
Northern Baptist Convention on 
December 1 in an effort to raise 

One half of the goal will go to 
the denomination's world relief 
committee for allocation to such 
agencies as Church World Serv- 
ice, Baptist World Alliance, and 
the American Baptist Foreign 
Mission Society. The other half 
will be given to the denomina- 
tion's $14,000,000 World Mission 
Crusade fund for missionary ad- 
vance, relief and reconstruction. 

Mobile, Ala. — The Alabama 
Methodist Conference voted at 
its annual meeting here to par- 
ticipate in a joint Methodist-Bap- 
tist campaign to raise $2,500,000 
for Birmingham -Southern, a 
Methodist college, and Howard, 
Baptist institution, both in Bir- 

The action was taken after Dr. 
George R. Stuart, Jr., president 
of the Methodist school, said that 
both the North Alabama Method- 
ist Conference and the Alabama 
Baptist Convention had approved 
the joint endeavor. 

Savannah, Ga. — The Georgia 
Baptist Convention will estab- 
lish a frequency modulation 
radio station in Atlanta and set 
up six other stations throughout 
the state, according to a plan 
adopted here at the group's an- 
nual meeting. 

As outlined in the plan, the 
Atlanta station would cost $75,- 
000 and would be owned jointly 
by the Southern Baptist Conven- 
tion, the Atlanta Baptist church- 
es, and the state Baptist organi- 
zation. It would serve as the 
key station in a proposed state 
network. Denominational pro- 
grams would be broadcast. 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 
Vol. II FEBRUARY, 1947 No. 2 


Das Kelley Barnett, Editor-in-Chief 
William W. Finlator, Associate Editor William M. Poteat, Book Editor 
Almonte C. Howell, Advisory Editor Marjorie E. Moore, Advisory Editor 

Sara Lowrey, Poetry Editor 


W. O. Carver, Louisville, Ky. 
H. B. Cross, Nashville, Term. Swan Hayworth, Vicksburg, Miss. 

George B. Cutten, Chapel Hill, N. C. WitH row T. Holland, Haynesville, La. 

J. M. Dawson, Washington, D. C. 

Adiel J. Moncrief, St. Joseph, Mo. 
Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. 

Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C Blake Smith, Austin, Texas 

J. C. Wilkinson, Athens, Georgia Hubert R. Howard, Jr., Tulsa, Okla. 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 

Fred B. Helms John McGinnis 

Carl Lee Ousley Warren Carr 

R. K. Redwine A. C McCall 

Marvin L. Skaggs Wilbur W. Hutchins 


Editorials 43 

Three Vital Issues G. W. Strother 47 

World Government and the 

Problem of Peace Henry Brandis, Jr 54 

An Open Letter to Southern Baptists G. McLeod Bryan 64 

Books 68 

News 70 

Here and There with Baptists 71 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July and August) by the Baptist 
Book Club, a non-profit fellowship of ministers and laymen. Address all corres- 
pondence to Box 508, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 by the Baptist 
Book Club. Second class mailing privilege pending. Subscription price, two dollars 
a year; twenty- five cents a copy. Printed by The Graphic Press, Inc., Raleigh, N. C. 

Who's Who In This Issue 

G. W. STROTHER, Baptist missionary to China now liv- 
ing in Pineville, La., made a stirring address at the Southern 
Baptist Convention meeting in Miami on the subject which 
he discusses in his article this month. 

HENRY BRANDIS, JR., is an Associate Professor of Law 
at the University of North Carolina, a member of the Exec- 
utive Council of the World Federalists of North Carolina, and 
chairman of the Chapel Hill Chapter of Americans United for 
World Government. 

G. McLEOD BRYAN has his A.B. and M.A. from Wake 
Forest College and has served as a rural pastor and teacher 
in Johnston County, as well as author of a weekly newspaper 
column. At present he is studying for his doctorate in Social 
Ethics at Yale University and serving as pastor of Olivet 
Baptist Church in New Haven, Conn. 

RALPH McLAIN, this month's book reviewer, is Pro- 
fessor of Religion at Meredith College in Raleigh, N. C. 


Christianity in Spite of the Churches 

R ] 

EGARDLESS of their politics few will deny that the 
Roosevelt administrations were the most humanitar- 
ian in American history. Yet the great social progress and 
reforms pioneered and implemented by the New Dealers 
were often achieved in spite of, and sometimes with opposi- 
tion from, institutional Christianity. Recently another in- 
stance of secular religion or piety exceeding the righteous- 
ness of the ecclesiastics — and this time it is brought home to 
us — has come to light. Please God, it may shame and outrage 
the conscience of many of our Southern Baptist people. 

On December 23, just at the eve of Christmas, President 
Truman announced the appointment of an amnesty board to 
study the cases of conscientious objectors to ascertain who 
among them deserve executive clemency and the restoration 
of civil rights. While this action falls far short of the requests 
of several church bodies in the United States it does represent 
a moral victory over (and it should represent a rebuke to) 
the play-safe, do-nothing, no-comment attitude of our South- 
ern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. For just a few 
days prior to this action by the President the executive com- 
mittee, meeting in Nashville, had in fact voted "no action" 
on a recommendation to President Truman that amnesty be 
granted to all conscientious objectors still held in prison. 

From our convention headquarters come such grandiose 
slogans as "Launching a Century With Christ" and "Advanc- 
ing With Christ." Sometimes one wonders just how much 
carry-through there is in these slogans. Shall Southern Bap- 
tists always be content with slogans while the world struggles 
in some areas to move closer to the realism of Christ? Shall 
our launching and advancing be forever concerned with addi- 
tions, baptisms, budgets, machinery? 

The vote "no action" on a recommendation to reimburse 
the Brethren Service Commission $17,708 for food and cloth- 
ing furnished 45 Baptist conscientious objectors during the 
war is another question. Though our indignation is far from 

44 Christian Frontiers 

spent, proportion and propriety enforce a restraint which 
permits us but to say that it is an honest debt dishonestly 
disavowed— and to add that it is small wonder when the 
official family of the dominant church of the South so acts 
that we are still called "the fire-eating South." — W.W.P. 

Henry A. Wallace, Theologian 

'TpHE PUBLIC remembers Wallace the brain-truster, 
J- Wallace the Secretary of Agriculture, Wallace the 
Vice-President, Wallace the war expediter, Wallace the Sec- 
retary of Commerce, Wallace the militant leader of political 
liberalism, and Wallace the editor. But to most of the admirers 
and defamers (it seems there are no other alternatives) of this 
many-faced personality the announcement of Wallace cast in 
the role of theologian comes as news. Those, however, who 
have followed more closely the career and interests of Mr. 
Wallace were not surprised to read recently his public 
declaration that the Bible presents "the liberal point of 
view" more lucidly than the "modernistic jargon" of many 
present day sociologists and economists. They knew that the 
present editor of The Neiu Republic has always had a deep 
reverence for and interest in the Scriptures, especially in the 
great prophets of social righteousness and in the social teach- 
ing of Jesus. They have, in fact, been assured that his 
militant passion for social justice and economic fairness is 
based on this devotion to Scripture. And they thank God and 
take courage when they read: "The essence of the liberal 
point of view is contained in Christ's doctrine of the individ- 
ual soul— the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of 

"The Bible," he continues, "contains archaic language, 
but it contains truths in language people can understand. 
Many of the Old Testament prophets said exactly what lib- 
erals are saying today." And then he quotes such passages 
as Amos 2:6: "Thus saith the Lord: for three transgressions 
of Israel, and for four I will not turn away the punishment 
thereof: Because they sold the righteousness for silver, and 
the poor for a pair of shoes." 

United Nations Without Benefit of Clergy 45 

This, brethren, is our idea of the "simple gospel." This is 
fundamentalism after our heart. Amen and Amen.— W.W.F. 

United Nations Without Benefit of Clergy 


'T IS WORSE than idle to criticize the organizations of 
L the United Nations for opening their assemblies with- 
out a formal invocation of God's guidance and blessing. It 
is in very fact to join the swelling chorus of "godlessness" 
directed by Roman Catholic maestros against Russia. No 
purpose is served by reminding the world that our American 
Congress has its chaplains, that prayers were offered at the 
Constitutional Convention when a great nation was born, 
that the Bible is used for this or that public occasion or 
ceremony. There are the bald facts that Russia has officially 
repudiated religion, that what official recognition the Or- 
thodox Church has been recently accorded in Russia may be 
little more than political window dressing or expediency, 
that Russian atheism has been extended to nations adjacent 
to her borders, that Russia and these adjacent nations are 
part of the United Nations. And, in perfectly good vernacular, 
to all this we say, "Period." 

We must never forget that our cherished freedom of 
religion means also freedom from religion for all who so 
choose. That is why it is so un-American and un-democratic 
to force the purveyors of atheism off the radio in our country 
as happened recently in a western state. That is why religion 
in public schools must remain elective. We in this country 
are still nominally Christians and the same might be said 
of England, Australia, Canada, and other members of the 
United Nations. It is therefore fitting and proper that a formal 
acknowledgment of this national piety be expressed at state 
assemblies and ceremonies. But at any international gather- 
ing which includes Mohammedans, Buddhists, Hindus, 
Christians, and atheists the insistence upon formal prayer 
becomes not only un-democratic but actually presumptuous 
and absurd. We must not be deluded into following the 
Roman Catholic line in thus feeling outraged that religion is 
being shunted aside in the United Nations meetings. We are 

46 Christian Frontiers 

never more truly Protestant than, while warmly proclaiming 
our faith, we refrain from any effort to force it upon 
others.— W.W.F. 

"Forward! Be Our Watchword" 

TT WAS FIVE years ago when our nation was faced 
J- with the threat of tyranny that Christianity and Crisis 
was founded. Perhaps there is no publication in America so 
vital to Christian thinking on national and international 
affairs as this "bi-weekly journal of Christian opinion." In 
the December 9 issue there appeared a statement by the 
board of sponsors under the title, "Toward a Christian Ap- 
proach to International Issues," which merits the attention 
of all who are "concerned to re-examine our faith in the 
light of world events [since] many current interpretations 
of that faith [are] not profound enough to help us to under- 
stand the tragic history through which we [are] moving." In 
this statement the sponsors outlined briefly and somewhat 
generally the approach to four urgent issues before the world 
today. It is not saying too much to term this statement a 
sort of manifesto of Christianity and Crisis for the coming 
years. The issues are: (a) the growing tension between 
Russia and the Western nations must be resolved, (b) the 
United Nations organization must be maintained,' (c) the 
problem of atomic energy must be settled amicably and 
permanently among the nations, and (d) the principle of 
trusteeship for backward nations and areas must be frankly 

The sponsors, and a roll call of them would reveal some 
of the greatest names in American Christendom, claim to 
have reached in broad outline an agreement in policy with 
regard to these issues. Christian Frontiers will not risk 
irreverence by hymning "Lead, kindly light" to this grimly 
realistic journal, but does take this occasion to express a 
warm gratitude for its five years of undaunted leadership 
and a prayer of godspeed for its future efforts to awaken us 
to the danger of a world "amid th' encircling doom."— W.W.F. 

w ] 

Three Vital Issues 

G. W. Strother 

I. Jesus and Race 

r HEN I STOOD on the dock at Shanghai, just before 
sailing March 5, 1946, there stood with me two fine 
Chinese Baptist young people. They both were college grad- 
uates and wanted to come to this country for graduate work. 
They petitioned my assistance and I promised to do what I 


On board the transport returning this matter kept recur- 
ring to me. I greatly desired that they should know Southern 
Baptists at home. I would want them to know what a great 
host we are; to know what a fine group of people they are 
connected with; to know our churches, our preachers, and our 

In the last few years, the Japanese have made the East- 
erner very conscious of his race. All peoples are race, class, 
and nation conscious. The whites had spread their influence, 
their religion, their economics, their industry throughout the 
world. Their arrogance and immorality, in certain circles, 
gave the adventurous Japanese their argument. "The Orient 
for the Orientals" became their slogan. The ease with which 
they swept the whites out of the East has created an im- 
pression that can never be effaced. 

America came through the war with still a large degree 
of popularity in the East, but that can easily change. Thou- 
sands of Chinese students now want to come here. What they 
see here will vitally affect the course of Christianity. 

Naturally, one loves and is jealous for his own group. I 
want our visiting friends to learn to love the South and 
Southern Baptists. They will come to this country a people of 
another race. They will see two races living together here. 
They will see the white dominant, and they will see the Negro 
discriminated against, not because of his inherent worth or 
deficiency, but because of his color. There is no way to ex- 
plain this to a people of another race. The way the Negro is 
treated in the South is also well known in social and political 

48 Christian Frontiers 

circles around the world. By the enemies of Christianity this 
has often been held up to us as evidence of our injustice, and 
it directly affects our influence. A Christian messenger 'to a 
foreign land cannot but be opposed to racial discrimination. 

Cannot Southern Baptists stand where Jesus and the New 
Testament stood on race? We know that before God, there is 
no distinction. Their repudiation of racial equality brought 
about the downfall of the Jewish nation. It was Paul's con- 
stant and consistent stand that the other nations should 
equally be partakers of the Gospel of Christ that brought on 
his widespread conflict with Jewish leadership, which result- 
ed in his death. It is a continuation of this same ideology that 
is basically the cause of present Jewish troubles. 

Southern Baptists claim to accept "the New Testament 
as our standard of faith and practice." The New Testament 
stands for racial equality before God. The South is largely a 
Baptist empire— whites and blacks. The dominant position 
the initiative is with the whites. It is the day for the white 
Baptists of the South to stretch out a hand of fraternal fellow- 
ship to our black brother. If we do not, others will, but we 
will have lost our opportunity. We will have lost our voice of 
leadership in world missions. Our vision gone, our group will 
atrophy. We cease to be a living stream. We become a stag- 
nant pool. 

We know the historical background of the Negro in 
America. We know the political strife, the tragedy of the Civil 
War, and the crime of Reconstruction. In all this the Negro 
was a helpless victim of white exploitation. He was torn from 
his home and sold as a slave. He was liberated and turned 
loose like so many cattle on a range to shift for himself It is 
time we Baptists do what is Christlike to help him to improve 
his economic, educational, and religious status. 

II. Jesus and Money — Capital and Labor 

During the dark days of the War in Free China, I lost all 
my possessions in a Japanese advance. The gift of $100 U S 
from a friend purchased two pairs of the poorest cotton pants' 
which shrank to where I could not wear them, two thin silk 
sport shirts, and two pairs of socks. Transportation was awful 
food almost unobtainable, clothing and manufactured articles 

Three Vital Issues 49 

prohibitive. We lived on in the hope that with the end of war, 
American products would flood the goods-hungry markets; 
highways, railroads, mines and factories would be opened; 
the missionaries would have cars and busses with loud-speak- 
ing equipment for spreading the Gospel. American war pro- 
duction had amazed the world. With peace, this skill would 
be turned into supplying the needs of the world. Then came 
V-J day and strikes. Strikes caught on and became popular 
in Shanghai and around the world. The channels of commerce 
refused to open; there were no goods for the markets; infla- 
tion increased; our hopes went glimmering. 

Years before World War II, the Japanese artist, techni- 
cian, and diplomat traveled throughout areas inhabited by 
the backward races. He studied their needs, and wove their 
life-patterns into cloth, tapestry, and all manner of goods. 
These things were mass produced by sweatshop labor, ship- 
ped out to all parts of the world by their cheap and efficient 
merchant fleet and sold at prices the British and American 
traders could not hope to equal. The peoples of the world are 
poor. They cannot buy high-priced goods, no matter how high 
the quality or how much needed. The Japanese industrial 
machine has been destroyed. The one who supplies the world 
markets must produce and sell goods cheaply. No nation can 
keep a large industrial economy unless it can sell beyond its 
own borders. It takes no economic statesman to see that if 
the finished product from the factory of a nation costs too 
much and is shipped in boats whose charges cannot compete 
with those of other nations, even though the goods are some- 
what superior, they will not sell on the markets of the world 
and there will inevitably come economic collapse. In the place 
of lowering the price, having full employment and full pro- 
duction to meet the needs of the cheap and hungry markets 
of the world, we have done exactly opposite and we face 
economic suicide. 

What is the cause of the condition? What does Jesus have 
to say about it? Do Southern Baptists not have some clear 
voice on the economic struggles of our times? If we do not, 
then the keen minds which seek social justice will look to 
others. But Jesus does have a sure word and we must stand 
with Him. 

50 Christian Frontiers 

Apart from Christ the human race is dominated by three 
compelling motives: appetite, show, and power. All three of 
these are represented by wealth — money. Therefore, the 
struggles of men are for wealth. 

Jesus divided the race into two groups: His followers and 
those not His followers. His disciples lived for God and others. 
Those not His disciples lived for self and money. 

In the past, strong intelligent men by foresight, hard work, 
manipulations for capital and the skillful use of other men's 
labor, were able to amass great wealth, develop great enter- 
prises, give employment to large numbers of men, and were 
great benefactors of the nation. These were the heroes, the 
"successful" men of America. In this struggle for power they 
were not always careful about the welfare of the men who 
labored for them and helped make their success possible. 
Keen competition caused them to keep wages low and make 
as little provision as possible for the welfare of their men. 
When the laborer ceased to be an economic asset his further 
welfare was no concern of the employer; neither was sickness, 
disability, or death. At their death they left large sums to 
their heirs, who were often unworthy and squandered it all 
in debauchery, while the child of the laboring man who help- 
ed make this wealth did not have the bare necessities of life. 
This was "rugged individualism." 

This policy has been reversed. The poor, the laboring peo- 
ple, are in the majority. They have votes. They can keep 
their friends in power. So the laboring man was fed fat on 
the war. He now has the whip hand and has no desire nor 
inclination to relinquish his prerogatives. We cannot approve 
of lawless striking and violence. 

Baptists are in a dilemma over this. We have been cham- 
pions of individualism and initiative. Yet we have alike 
championed the cause of the oppressed. Furthermore, even 
though Baptists are predominantly of the common people, 
we have looked to our few wealthy for "large gifts." Many of 
us fear the rich, for we know their power. Many others have 
been greatly assisted by wealthy friends. 

Baptists have tended to run their affairs on a semi-capital- 
istic basis: we tend to judge a man's greatness by the size of 
his salary. 

Three Vital Issues 51 

The only possible solution is to stand with Jesus: what- 
ever is a man's occupation, business, or profession, service to 
God and his fellow man is his proper motive. Money enough 
for his needs will come and is incidental. The rich and poor 
alike must be warned that this Kingdom of God is the only 
safe place for the investment of their money. We are in the 
investment banking business and our security is the safest. 

Since investment is our business, the more a man puts in 
the better for him. The tithe was never Jesus' standard of 
giving. The nearer one put in all he had, the wiser he was. 

Dare Baptists stand where Jesus stood? If not, why not? 

III. Jesus and Marriage 

We have always found peoples and nations where Jesus 
is not known to have a very low standard of morals, and 
their homes and living conditions are very poor. We have 
believed the New Testament presented us with one author- 
ative standard for human conduct. 

Marriage is a contract entered into between a man and a 
woman whereby the race is propagated and nurtured and the 
home becomes the chief cultural and habit-forming center of 
the race. The New Testament makes marriage an indissoluble 
contract between the male and the female, lasting throughout 
the lives of the two contracting parties, save for one possible 
exception; and to have a Christian home, both partners must 
be Christian. 

In bringing those who profess Christ to the Christian way 
of life, we sometimes need to discourage plurality of wives, 
even to the extent of causing the man to put away all his 
wives, save the original partner. There are not many who 
will do this, but the New Testament standard must be main- 

The best element of American life is descended from the 
Germanic tribes, who, historians tell us, were of strict monog- 
amous habits. Greek civilization dissolved away in immorality 
engendered by the worship of immoral Gods, in philosophic 
speculation, and internal disunion, so that they easily fell be- 
fore the Roman arms. Roman lords luxuriating with bathing 
beauty slaves, and Roman matrons, maidens, and youths who 
had forgotten the word chastity, with their mercenaries, were 

52 Christian Frontiers 

no match for the virile, chaste barbarian. So the ancient 
civilizations perished; and a new civilization had to wait until 
it could be built on those barbarians turned Chrstian, a people 
of vigorous physique, stern moral virtue, and monogamous 

Now America at the height of her new won glory shows 
all the damning signs of deterioration which marked the other 
nations for destruction; and not least of these signs is the 
widespread break-up of our homes, which is indicated by the 
failure of one out of every four wartime marriages. There is 
no use to deny that this failure is due to immorality and un- 
faithfulness in sex relationships and lack of restraint. 

War is always destructive of the beautiful and good. It 
always unleashes and glorifies the animal, the bestial, the 
passions. Immorality thrives on warfare, and to the ever- 
lasting shame of our country, we have done little to protect 
our men from all the vileness of the gutter, and we have 
greatly promoted the interests of the brewer and distiller. 
One night in January 1945, over 30 of our planes were lost 
over the "Hump." How many of these were loaded with 
belated Christmas liquor rations? The shows and much of 
the literature were constantly suggestive of sex. I preached 
to one air base for four months and several said they had 
never heard Jesus' attitude on divorce. 

On the Fourth of July I took my wife and eldest daughter 
to see the first picture I had seen in this country in three 
years. It was supposed to be good. It was so utterly and de- 
structively immoral that we walked out. I will not say I will 
not go again, but I have been angry ever since. Think of the 
millions of American boys and girls, men and women, feeding 
on such carrion! How can we expect to produce good men and 
women? How can we expect to have Christian homes, teach- 
ing Christian idealism, virtue, and character to our future 
men and women, while their only center for amusement and 
entertainment is daily grinding out such filth? There is noth- 
ing sacred to the motion picture industry: the home is des- 
ecrated; lust is glorified; unchastity is glamorized; nudeness 
is paraded; morality, righteousness, Christianity, temperance, 
and the ministry are laughed out of court. 

Jesus spoke order, security, righteousness, and peace in 

Three Vital Issues 53 

the home. Society can be secure, churches can have order 
and the nation stability when we have homes built on the 
order of Jesus. 

The present divorce evil has spread throughout the whole 
of our society; every family and church is touched, and the 
pulpits are not immume. Preachers scarcely dare preach on 
marriage and the Christian home. Some ministers have pecul- 
iar ideas on what constitutes marriage and large numbers 
raise no questions at all when they are asked to perform the 
marriage ceremony. One fears they love the marriage fee. 
Paul said, "Be not unequally yoked together with unbe- 
lievers," but not only do these ministers not state the New 
Testament pattern for the home, but they proceed to "yoke" 
up people contrary to Paul's admonition, while great numbers 
of our young people are being pulled into Roman Catholic 
circles, who are insistent that the children be reared Catholic. 
The Catholics have a united policy; we have none. There is 
one inevitable outcome unless God intervenes, and that is 

If Southern Baptists will not stand with Jesus and the 
New Testament on the Christian home, then the missionaries 
have no choice; we must stay true to the only pattern we 
know for individuals, homes, and churches. 

"Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes, they were souls 
that stood alone, 

While the men they agonized for hurled the contume- 
lious stone, 

Stood serene, and down the future saw the golden beam 

To the side of perfect justice, mastered by their faith 

By one man's plain truth to manhood and to God's 
supreme design." 

— Lowell 

World Government and the Problem of 


Henry Brandis, Jr. 

'"THOUGH USE of the phrase, "World Government," 
A generates in some people the reaction that something 
beyond the thinking capacity of the ordinary citizen is in- 
volved, the fundamental concept underlying the movement 
for World Government is extraordinarily simple. It can be 
stated in a single sentence. 

There can be no peace without law and there can be no 
law without government. 

This proposition has been demonstrated some thousands 
of times in the world's history. Peace is simply a relatively 
efficient preservation of law and order. As man began his 
struggle toward what we now call civilization, probably the 
first organized group to develop was the family. The family 
group developed a central authority— a method of keeping 
law and order within the group. That, in its way, was govern^ 
ment. As family groups merged into the tribe, again govern- 
mental machinery was developed to keep law and order with- 
in the tribe. The principle has remained the same through 
the development of cities, city-states, nations and empires. 
While government has not always been successful in pro- 
ducing internal peace, no such peace has ever been preserved 
without government. 

The keeping of law and order relies heavily, of course, on 
the willingness of the great majority of citizens to be law- 
abiding. However, when government is administered with 
anything even roughly approaching justice, that willingness 
is almost invariably present. But it, alone, is not enough. 
There must be an organization— government— to restrain the 
unwilling minority and to punish the transgressors. 

We accept this fundamental concept without serious ques- 
tion as applied to our towns, cities, counties, states, and 
nation. We know that we could not have even relative law 
and order without our governments, our courts, and our 
police agencies. We further accept, without serious question, 
the concept that the power of the government must be co- 

World Government and the Problem of Peace 55 

extensive with the area in which law and order is to be kept. 
We recognize that county government alone could not keep 
the peace throughout the state, as disagreements between 
them could and would lead to breaches of the peace; and that, 
for the same reason, state governments alone could not pre- 
serve law and order throughout the nation. 

The moral, then, is certain and simple: We cannot expect 
to preserve law and order on a world scale until we have a 
government whose power is world-wide. 

It is obvious that half-way measures, short of World 
Government, cannot hope to succeed. Postponement, not pre- 
vention, of war is the best they could provide. Of course, to 
those who accept, as a substitute for thought, the dictum that 
war is an inevitable human activity, it may make little 
difference what measures we take. For, if war is really inev- 
itable, then there is a high probability that current scientific 
developments have signed the death warrant of our civiliza- 
tion and all that remains to be done is to select the time for 
the execution and to ascertain whether the attendant cere- 
monies will be spread over a few days or a few years. 

However, as man has often demonstrated his capacity to 
keep relative law and order within the boundaries of lesser 
governmental units, there is no real reason to discount, with- 
out trial, his capacity to do so on a world scale through the 
device of a World Government. 

The Present Situation 

Only the most extraordinarily wishful thinkers now put 
any permanent faith in isolation or unilateral disarmament 
as ways of achieving peace. In the modern world isolation is 
obviously not possible; and unilateral disarmament leaves out 
of account the fact that human greed is at least as common a 
cause of war as fear. 

More people put faith in heavy national armament. In an 
armed world that is a necessity for self-protection for any 
nation aspiring to be "great;" but, unfortunately, it leads to 
destruction of the very protection which it temporarily 
achieves. It leads to an armament race— and one is now in 
progress— the burden of which becomes intolerable, both 

56 Christian Frontiers 

financially and psychologically; and, unless the race is curbed, 
its inevitable end is a "preventive" war. 

Can an effective curb be achieved by multilateral arms 
limitation? The answer is "No." Previous experience as well 
as analysis clearly demonstrates that ordinary disarmament 
treaties are doomed to failure: (1) because nations, like peo- 
ple, cannot be universally trusted to keep contracts; (2) be- 
cause the mutual suspicions arising from this obvious truth 
lead to "protective," secret breaches; and (3) because new 
developments in arms upset whatever precarious balance 
has been achieved. We are now hearing, in the councils of 
the United Nations, proposals for disarmament backed by 
inspection. That would help. But even completely efficient 
inspection— something extremely difficult to attain in all 
fields of armament— could not alone hope to prevent war. 
Its maximum achievement would be to provide enough warn- 
ing so that an attack would not come as a complete surprise. 
The enforcement problem would still remain. 

There are now, also, proposals to eliminate the veto as 
applied to inspection and to punishment for violations. These 
proposals are, in themselves, a confession that the present 
UN does not have power adequate to the job of keeping the 
peace. A very brief analysis will disclose why this is true. 

The United Nations 

The General Assembly of the United Nations is a valuable 
forum. Its discussions offer a basis for the formation of intel- 
ligent public opinion in those countries where there is suffi- 
cient freedom of the press to permit impartial reporting. But 
the General Assembly has very limited legislative power. 
What legislative power the United Nations has rests mainly 
in the Security Council. The same is equally true of the 
executive power. 

The judicial power of the United Nations is initially vest- 
ed in the International Court of Justice, or World Court The 
effectiveness of the Court as a world peace agency is very 
limited because: (1) Only nations may be parties to a case 
brought before it; it has no power over individuals as such. 
(2) Many disputes between nations cannot be brought before 
the Court. (3) After the Court has tried a case, if the losing 

World Government and the Problem of Peace 57 

nation does not carry out the decree, the method of enforce- 
ment is for the winning nation to appeal to the Security 
Council for assistance. 

In the last analysis, then, the legislative, executive, and 
judicial powers of the United Nations are all dependent upon 
action by the Security Council. There five nations — the 
United States, Russia, Britain, France, and China — have the 
veto power. It is inconceivable that in the predictable future 
a serious threat to world peace will arise unless it involves 
one of those five nations or some nation backed by one of 
them. In such a situation the veto power is a barrier to any 
action except such as may be taken on a purely voluntary, 
or cooperative basis. The very situations in which there is a 
serious threat to world peace are precisely the situations in 
which efficient action to eliminate the threat is impossible. 
In other words, the United Nations, built as it confessedly is 
on the principle of "national sovereignty," has not yet ad- 
vanced essentially beyond the stage of attempting to keep 
the peace by treaty. The five great nations have so far bound 
themselves only to discuss the problems which arise; and on 
each problem there must be unanimous agreement before 
anything is done, that is, a new treaty. 

Changes Needed 

What is needed is not the scrapping of the United Nations. 
That would simply destroy what little progress we have 
made. We need to strengthen the United Nations by amend- 
ments to its charter which will make it a true World Govern- 
ment with powers adequate for the job of keeping the peace. 

Mere elimination of the veto power, without more, would 
not solve the problem. That would not eliminate the "sov- 
ereign nation" principle; and a "sovereign nation" can, in 
actuality, veto by action or non-action as effectively as by 
vote. Technically the United Nations Security Council could 
take action, even though there were dissenting votes from 
members of the "Big Five." But to enforce that action against 
"sovereign nations" would probably mean war. This will be 
true in the disarmament field if we simply set up an enforce- 
ment and inspection agency and eliminate the veto as to its 
activities. If, additionally, we give such an agency the power 

58 Christian Frontiers 

to go after individuals, instead of nations only, we will have 
clothed it with one of the powers vitally necessary to any 
effective World Government. To the extent that the Security 
Council, acting without the veto, controlled the activity of 
such an agency, it would be the ultimate custodian of such 
governmental power. 

However, this would still be a half-way measure so long 
as ultimate enforcement, in case of defiance, rested upon the 
necessity of calling into activity armed forces responsible 
primarily to individual nations. Each of such nations would, 
in effect, still retain a veto to the extent that it could withhold 
the use of its forces or could, in fact, use them as protection 
for its own defiance of the central authority. 

Further, it is extremely doubtful that the present Security 
Council, even without the veto, would be a satisfactory custo- 
dian for such powers. Too few of the nations of the world are 
represented on it. However, the present General Assembly 
would be equally unsatisfactory, if not more so. It operates 
upon the one-nation-one-vote principle, and thus El Salvador 
or Ethiopia has as great a voice as Russia or the United States. 

Also, if we approach the matter only from the standpoint 
of an agreement on arms limitation, the powers accorded are 
likely to be so limited that new agreements will almost imme- 
diately be necessary; and negotiation of each new agreement 
will present a prime opportunity for disruption of even the 
progress made to that point. 

The exact language of the amendments to the United 
Nations charter which are needed and the exact powers 
accorded to the World Government under them will inev- 
itably be the subject of consultation and compromise. No one 
person or group or nation can afford to say now that they can 
only be precisely thus and so. But the general outline is plain 
enough. The amendments needed are primarily: 

1. The General Assembly should be accorded powers 
which are limited enough to minimize interference by it in 
matters basically domestic in nature, yet broad enough to 
allow it to deal effectively with disarmament and other mat- 
ters directly connected with the preservation of peace, in- 
cluding the power to pass laws providing for punishment of 
individuals guilty of crimes against world peace. Very prob- 

World Government and the Problem of Peace 59 

ably it will be found necessary to accord the Assembly some 
power over such matters as access to raw materials and 
barriers to free international trade. These latter are examples 
of things as to which there is room for debate and com- 
promise; but the power to regulate or suppress the production 
of all weapons of mass destruction is clearly an absolute 

2. The General Assembly, whether by use of a bicameral 
organization or otherwise, should be reconstituted on some 
basis of representation intermediate between the present one- 
nation-one-vote principle and the other extreme of repre- 
sentation based solely on population. Since either extreme 
would be completely out of harmony with the actual distrib- 
ution of power presently existing, neither could reasonably 
be expected to work. The representative should vote individ- 
ually and not by any national unit rule. 

3. An executive agency should be created. If the Security 
Council were retained, this would be its function, though the 
present type of veto would be eliminated and the Council 
would be responsible in the last analysis to the General 

4. A system of courts should be established: (1) with 
much more complete jurisdiction to settle disputes between 
national governments than the present Court possesses; and 
(2) with power to try individuals accused of crimes against 
the United Nations, subject to a Bill of Rights designed to 
secure fair trials for those so accused. 

5. An enforcement, or police, agency should be established 
as an integral part of the United Nations, dependent in no 
way on utilization of contingents from the armed forces of 
the member nations. Indeed, every effort must be made, at 
the very outset, to reduce the armed forces of member nations 
to those reasonably necessary for the internal preservation 
of law and order. Anything short of that is likely to end in 

The Opposition 

The road to World Government is not an easy one. But we 
cannot allow the obvious difficulties to prevent us from trying. 
The necessity outweighs the difficulties. 

60 Christian Frontiers 

Some people make the fallacious assumption that if World 
Government would have unpleasant features, that is a sound 
reason for opposing it. The fallacy lies in the assumption that 
we can avoid the unpleasant matters by rejecting World 
Government and still have peace. Actually the world has but 
three alternatives : ( 1 ) We can have another war so destruc- 
tive of our civilization that World Government will become 
an academic question. (2) We can have another war, vastly 
destructive, but leaving something of our civilization. In that 
case, the victor will, of necessity, impose and dominate a 
World Government. (3) We can achieve World Government 
by peaceful means, with a reasonable chance of making it a 
just government. 

In other words, if we preserve a significant portion of our 
civilization, World Government is as inevitable as the cop on 
the corner. The question becomes simply, do we attempt to 
work it out peacefully? If we do, we can probably minimize 
the unpleasant features. 

However, a brief look at some of the ideas advanced by 
the opposition is in order. 

1. "It will involve a sacrifice of national sovereignty." 
That is correct. But full-fledged national sovereignty is synon- 
ymous with international anarchy. Further, in practice, only 
a handful of powerful nations — possibly only one — can have 
complete sovereignty. Finally, it is obvious that completely 
unrestrained national sovereignty is as incompatible with 
world peace as completely unrestrained personal liberty is 
with the maintenance of domestic law and order. We cannot 
escape the necessity of putting reasonable curbs on both. 
Yes, World Government will involve some sacrifice of national 
sovereignty. There will never be lasting peace until some 
sovereignty is sacrificed. 

2. "I don't want the Indians and the Chinese running the 
United States." But: (1) The probability is that representa- 
tion within the General Assembly will not be distributed 
solely on a population basis, any more than it is within the 
government of the United States today. (2) The powers of 
the World Government will be so limited that we will still be 
relatively free to follow our own bent on purely domestic 
problems. Of course, the representatives of the United States 

World Government and the Problem of Peace 61 

could be outvoted, but so could those of any other nation. 
Perhaps, as it worked out, the World Government would have 
a strong voice in some problems which some people now re- 
gard as domestic; and certainly the actions of a World Gov- 
ernment would impinge on some things we call domestic. 
But can anyone seriously maintain that two World Wars have 
not impinged on our domestic affairs? Failure to organize a 
true World Government will not allow us to escape the in- 
fluence of the rest of the world. Shortages, price spirals, a 
staggering national debt, veterans' problems — to say nothing 
of fresh graves by the hundred thousand — bear mute but 
overwhelming witness to the fact that our present ability to 
handle our own problems in our own way is far more imag- 
ined than real. 

3. "It is impractical and Utopian." Utopian it may be, but 
not impractical. Most people who regard World Government 
as impractical apparently accept the idea that peace can be 
preserved by treaty — that is, by voluntary cooperation. The 
same people would never think of attempting to maintain 
law and order within their own towns on a purely cooperative 
basis. At that level they freely recognize the formula of 
cooperation as impractical and accept government as a prac- 
tical necessity. The idea of World Government recognizes that 
cooperation fails when a sinner arrives in our midst and 
accepts the obvious fact that there will always be some sin- 
ners. Therefore, it is not only not impractical, it is the only 
practical plan for the preservation of peace. 

4. "It will not absolutely guarantee that there will be no 
wars." Granted. Human nature is so far from perfect that no 
humanly devised plan is at all likely to afford an absolute 
guarantee against war. But World Government is most un- 
likely to produce a war which would not otherwise occur; 
and, on the other hand, it has an excellent chance of prevent- 
ing wars which, without it, would most certainly be fought. 
Therefore, it is the closest thing to a guarantee against war 
to be found on the present horizon. 

5. "What about Russia?" Until very recently the pros- 
pects of Russian assent looked dark indeed; and, while they 
are now brighter, it is too early to say that they are partic- 
ularly bright. But we do not have to make a final appraisal 

62 Christian Frontiers 

of Russia's attitude solely on the basis of the presently 
accumulated evidence. We must first get the United States 
to sponsor the proposal to amend the United Nations charter 
to make United Nations a true World Government. When 
that is done, there is a good prospect that the rest of the 
world, other than Russia and its satellites, will be willing to 
go along. Only when Russia is faced with the grave decision 
as to whether to join in or go it alone will we have to make 
a final appraisal of her attitude. It is very doubtful if Stalin 
himself could say accurately today what Russia will do if and 
when actually faced with a problem of such grave importance. 
Currently, our efforts should be concentrated on influencing 
the official attitude of our own government. Certainly any 
current appraisal of the attitudes of other governments, based 
necessarily on incomplete evidence, would not dissuade us 
from that. 

The truth is that there is no really insuperable obstacle to 
World Government, nor is there any objection to it sound 
enough to justify accepting the virtual certainty of war which 
rejection of World Government means. 

The Immediate Job to Be Done 

The United States ought to be taking the lead. Its official 
representatives ought to be urging amendment of the United 
Nations charter. We are moving in that direction. Our official 
proposals for the international control of atomic energy and 
for disarmament clearly indicate that our officials do not be- 
lieve the present United Nations has adequate power to keep 
the peace. But our official proposals are tackling the matter 
piecemeal instead of openly recognizing and tackling the 
fundamental problem in its entirety. 

There are numerous recent indications that the people are 
ahead of the country's political leaders. A recent Elmo Roper 
poll indicated that over 60 per cent of our people favor the 
general idea of World Government. In a recent referendum 
included on the official ballot in Massachusetts, 74 per cent 
of those voting for candidates voted on a query which offered 
an opportunity to approve or disapprove the general idea of 
World Government. The vote was an overwhelming 638,000 
in favor to only 74,000 against. 

World Government and the Problem of Peace 63 

It is up to individual Americans to make their views 
known. We must unite for mutual support and multiplication 
of influence to the end that our leaders will make the nec- 
essary proposals. Those of us who are unwilling to do so must 
share in the responsibility for the failure of peace efforts 
which will be the inevitable result of inactivity. 

Americans have, to put it baldly, a skin-saving motive. 
Since we first used the atomic bomb, it is probable that the 
rest of the world will have fewer qualms about using it on us 
than on anyone else. But, regardless of that, and more im- 
portant, we have a moral responsibility to curb the power for 
evil we have let loose in the world. That responsibility is not 
to give the world an American-dominated century. There are 
several billion people in the world who very properly care 
nothing for such a century. Our responsibility is to use our 
full energies and influence in joining with others to create a 
government to which all the people of the world may look for 
peace and justice under law. 

The Time Is Now 

Many people are inclined to say, "I believe in World Gov- 
ernment, but I think it can be achieved only over a very long 
period of time and it is a mistake to try to rush matters. We 
will only upset the apple-cart and lose what we now have." 
This is a self-comforting doctrine in that it obviates the 
necessity of doing anything except sit on one's hands. 

The truth is that there is a far greater chance of losing 
what progress we have made through the United Nations by 
leaving it as it is than by advocating that it be strengthened. 

Most, if not all, of us would prefer to move gradually if we 
had a free choice. But to have a free choice we must be con- 
vinced that we can preserve peace while we take our gradual 

As already pointed out, we are still essentially in the stage 
of attempting to keep the peace by treaties and ordinary 
diplomatic methods. There is nothing in the history of such 
attempts to make it reasonable to believe that they can 
successfully keep the peace. There is nothing in their history 
which even indicates that they can postpone war for a very 
long time. 

64 Christian Frontiers 

Which of us knows how long we have? As for myself, I 
do not know whether it will be two, five, ten or twenty-five 
years, though I do not believe it can much exceed the last. I 
do not even know what countries might start the war. I do 
not believe at this moment that war is inevitable between any 
two identifiable countries within a definitely predictable time. 
But I am firmly convinced that all history indicates that our 
present methods — diplomatic jockeying, treaties, power pol- 
itics, armament races— will inevitably lead to a war between 
two or more powerful nations in the not too distant future. 
Recent history indicates that such a war, once started, can 
and probably will engulf the world. 

In deciding between gradualism and all possible speed, 
do we have a free choice? 

An Open Letter to Southern Baptist 

G. McLeod Bryan 

TT IS MY OPINION that everyone of my fellow South- 
J- ern Baptist ministers (every minister of every denom- 
ination which operates in areas making rapid strides toward 
industrialization and urbanization, to expand it logically) 
should occupy a New England urban pastorate for at least 
six months. Here in New England the acids of modernity 
have eaten away the wooly, soft, colorful down on the Bride 
of Christ's garment and have left it threadbare, with the warp 
and woof now clearly visible. Here the technicways of con- 
temporary civilization— urbanization, industrialization, stan- 
dardization, sophistication — are best seen at their self-defeat- 
ing ends, playing havoc with the churches as well as with the 
hosts of ready conformers. What began here three or four 
decades ago is rampaging almost wholly unrestrained and 
uncombatted throughout the whole of the nation where con- 
ditions are favorable, and is sure to sweep sections like the 
Piedmont South. The lesson for my fellow-ministers is clear; 
the signs of the time are discernible; the hand-writing is 
already on the wall of mid-century New England. 

Take the church I know most about, for instance, a fair 

An Open Letter to Southern Baptists 65 

(literally a cloudy!) index into the matter: What was a 
community-family-suburban church 20 years ago is now a 
downtown church, located in an interstitial area, where 
factories are supplanting residences, where Negroes are 
occupying vacated homes, where the deacons are contem- 
plating the erection of an iron fence around the inviting lawn 
in front of the church. Within a block, the laborers of a 
branch of a huge munitions plant are on strike; just across 
the street is the single competing Protestant church which 
had the name in recent years of being one of the nation's fore- 
most churches in ministering to laborers but which is now 
retreating with its membership to a more suitable suburban 
environment. One block to the south runs the street which 
marks, by community agreement rather than by realty charts 
or city zoning, the dividing line between the whites and 
blacks; within a year four of our families have either sold 
their homes or moved from the neighborhood. The majority 
of our one-hundred-plus "seeable" members, comprising some 
30-odd related families, from a book membership of 300 souls, 
have already made themselves scarce and are living in widely 
scattered outlying sections of the city. To cap it all, the com- 
munity has become within the last two generations 75 per 
cent Catholic. That is the picture of its geographical and 
regional aspects — its ecology. 

The membership itself falls into the typical urban pattern, 
perhaps a little on the exaggerated side, with 60 per cent over 
50 years of age and only 11 persons enrolled below 25 years 
of age. The remainder are young and middle-aged couples, 
none having over two children and one-half with no children. 
If they intend to propagate themselves by the "time-honored" 
method — by church-family replacements — they are doomed 
and are obviously dying speedily. What few new members 
are added are fast offset by the death of older members or by 
the unnoted withdrawals and freezing of those on the fringes 
of the church-family and of the city community. The thriving 
Sunday School alone serves as a feeder for church member- 
ship, but it is only a temporary shot-in-the-arm since it is a 
phenomenon of the present pastorate. 

What adds a sense of tragedy to the whole, above and be- 
yond these gloomy facts, is the attitude of the church, happily 

66 Christian Frontiers 

with some striking exceptions. Exclusiveness characterizes 
the church life, not exclusiveness on the lines of essential 
Christian beliefs or of denominational aloofness, but the 
natural exclusiveness of an in-group. Inter-family, backyard- 
fence friendships prevail, even though their lots are now 
separated by smokestacks and Negroes. They pride them- 
selves on being the friendliest church in their section of 
Yankeedom, and they would be electrified if told that their 
church is doomed. Still they act so as to exclude new mem- 
bers; for while they warmly greet visitors to the services they 
leave the newcomers out in the cold, outside their own little 
chummy circles, and then wonder why they lose so many 
visitors and new members. Evangelism in the worst or the 
best sense is unknown. Over the years the church has suc- 
cumbed, with the slightest protest, to the watered-down faith 
of undefined liberalism; it exists, with each Sunday's respira- 
tion more halting, as a deflated pow-wow for these once 
neighboring, comfortably satisfied petty bourgeoisie. And, 
though located in an area where as a church they could do 
much for laboring people and could build up ties with the 
Negroes and though four out of five of the memberships are 
to be counted among the laborers, about equally divided be- 
tween union and non-union membership or preference, they 
keep their hands tied by deliberately remaining unidentified 
with their fellows. 

Did I hear you say their plight may not be so dismal for 
their "religious feelings" have gone unmentioned? Yes, un- 
mentioned, deliberately, for my point is that spirituality 
thrives with difficulty, if at all, under such conditions. Indeed, 
such a query would call for a definition of what you mean. 
Even so, the church in question is so accurately described in 
a conclusion of the recent Brooklyn Survey: "The more 
assimilated to the American type, the more liberal its view- 
point, the more dispassionate its tolerance, the more anemic 
its faith, the more individualistic its mores, the less (has it) 
prospered." Did I hear you say that this is an extreme case of 
a run-down church? Not if you hear the people of the church 
talk; the glory in their little clubs; they're proud of the final 
payment of their building mortgage this fall; and they would 
be dreadfully shocked to know that they are being numbered 

An Open Letter to Southern Baptists 67 

with the dead and dying. The case in hand is simply a pro- 
duct of the "Magnificent Protestant Era" which built big and 
too often while the going was easy and didn't always look 
where it was going. This is the church to which I direct the 
minds of my fellow-ministers among the Southern Baptists, 
among the nation, and say, "Beware, pride goeth before a 
great fall;" after expansionists tactics, after sheer promotion- 
alism, after dinosauric membership rolls comes the mopping 
up effected by a new era and a different way of life. 

But I dare to console myself with Elijah's balm; there 
may not be 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to the image 
of Baal but surely there are some among them who will re- 
spond and break away from their ruts. With prayer and hope 
I have constructed and presented a plan of action; here is 
Protestantism's chance to show its colors. 

First, let them capitalize on the unique position which 
has opened to them in being the only Protestant church in a 
predominantly Catholic area, become avowedly and militantly 
an undenominational church ministering to the working class, 
bravely restate and reinterpret the Gospel in word and in 
deed for the salvation of the community. Second, let them 
welcome association with incoming Negroes who hunger for 
fellowship and cooperation instead of indifference and brutal- 
ity, and go on record as one church in this Northern city 
which accepts Negro members — and if there's need to soften 
this blunt Christian act, let them remember that perhaps few 
Negroes would want to join their ranks anyway! Third, let 
them establish a Christian Center, for intercultural, inter- 
racial, recreational, and religious projects of the community, 
building up one of the most neglected neighborhoods of the 
city by being community-minded after the Mind of Christ. 

Do you think this New England city church will follow 
this Southern Baptist pastor? Or will it say not what some 
pastors said in answer to Douglass' questionnaire in Brooklyn, 
"that surveys are a waste of time as we know what is wrong," 
but that "surveys and directives such as the one our pastor 
has mapped are a waste of time as we don't see anything 
wrong?" What do you say? 


Last Reprieve? By Edwin Mc- 
Neill Poteat. New York: Harper 
and Brothers, 1946. 105 pages. 
Critical Essay. $1.00 

"This is one more in the spate 
of books, monographs, essays, 
and miscellaneous reflections that 
the atom bomb has inspired— 
or if inspired be too ingratiating 
a word, exploded." Thus the 
author correctly begins his crit- 
ical essay which aims to analyze 
the condition of man and forth- 
rightly suggest a technique 
whereby the answer to his dilem- 
ma may be found. 

More and more it is realized 
that we need today a fresh vision 
that will capture the imagination 
of men. In another age Augus- 
tine's City of God captured men 
sufficiently to motivate a new 
order when his civilization had 
gone to pieces. Where shall we 
look in our day? What will be 
the source of an answer that 
will grip and move men to build 

The answer to these questions 
is dependent on what one ana- 
lyzes the situation to be, and 
behind that, to what one believes 
human existence to be all about. 
In the author's analysis of our 
situation he points out that (1) 
"we have entered a new age"; 
and (2) "we are afraid of what 
may happen to our civilization." 

If these conditions have come 
upon us unexpectedly and are 
to some extent unwanted, then 
what have men been wanting and 
expecting? Again, two things: 
happiness and security, or pleas- 
ure and power. The author 
cleverly handles the hedonistic 

paradox by affirming the pursuit 
of pleasures as a practical mat- 
ter, but finding that it is at the 
point of means (here power) 
that we need to scrutinize our 
plans most carefully. "Some- 
where along the road during the 
past two hundred years, Western 
man has lost his way." 

How shall we resolve the di- 
lemma of being both strong and 
happy without going into fear 
and destruction? "We must find 
man's ultimate dependence, ul- 
timate in terms of its ability to 
accommodate both his wish to be 
strong and his need to be happy." 
The answer lies in submitting 
ourselves to "the Moral Order" — 
"objective pragmatic moral laws 
observable in the nature of be- 
havior . . ." Certainly both scien- 
tists and statesmen have been 
calling for moral guidance. How 
shall we go about looking for 
this kind of "ultimate?" 

The author's suggestion 
emerges from the characteristic 
technique which our age has de- 
veloped: the scientific method. 
He would have it applied by a 
congress of scientific specialists 
so as to describe the laws of 
human behavior, which when 
obeyed lead to happiness and 
security; denied, lead to misery 
and destruction. Call together 
anthropologist, historian, sociol- 
ogist, endocrinologist, psychia- 
trist, psychologist, physicist, 
chemist, etc. Out of such a "World 
Congress on Morals" let there 
emerge from a thoroughly em- 
pirical study such statements of 
moral laws as our nations and 
international order requires. 



We wonder what would result. 
May not the scientist as a scien- 
tist find himself in a peculiar 
position? One of the naive as- 
sumptions which recent years 
have seen exploded is that our 
vaunted belief in our objectivity 
in dealing with "facts, facts, 
facts" failed to realize that all 
observation is made from some 
particular point of view. And 
basic assumptions concerning the 
universe are all leaps of faith 
which are not subject to inves- 
tigation by the scientific method. 
Working with the measurable, 
the statistical averages, we de- 
sire to state the observable se- 
quences which occur with rela- 
tive dependability. But can this 
procedure get us farther toward 
man's final dependence than our 
great astro-physicists have got- 
ten in recognizing that behind 
all this empirically measured 
phenomena we must postulate 
something — but we can't get to 
it by our scientific methods. 

What then of such a "congress" 
discovering the "Moral Order," 
or the moral laws in human be- 
havior. Even if stated, we would 
still need to inquire for some- 
thing more adequate. What 
would be their sustaining source? 
Can we safely neglect the possi- 
bility that the beginning point 
must be from the "beyond that 
is akin?" Or better still, begin 
from both sides at once, giving 
the priority to God? 

Possibly the author is subtly 
hinting at this when he made 
the suggestion of a scientists' 
"World Congress on Morals." 
Such a congress, he writes, is 
to be "not under theological or 

philosophical auspices, however. 
We are not now being asked for 
such guidance. Maybe that's 
what the world needs, but this 
is no time to insist on it." Would 
they reach the point of realizing 
the relevance of God? 

To many readers it will further 
seem that a moral creed must 
approve itself two ways, both 
rationally and empirically. Its 
inner coherence or rationality 
must be harmonious in holding 
together all the elements of ex- 
perience at every range or level 
of being. The Christian ethicist 
finds the key feature of all ex- 
perience to be in those experi- 
ences of Divine activity in history 
in Israel from Abram and Moses 
to all that Jesus Christ is and 
means. To call a congress for 
empirically arrived at statements 
without examination of the par- 
ticipants' primary assumptions 
as to what human existence is 
all about may result only in con- 

Certainly it is true that we 
need free and unhampered search 
concerning facts in every area. 
The author's "Congress" could 
function well as a beginning in 
bringing together a mass of data 
with the results of many special- 
ists in the sciences balanced 
against each other and thus freed 
from distortions. We wish a be- 
ginning like that could be made. 

Beyond such an accumulation 
of information about human be- 
havior we need more urgently 
an adequately stated presuppo- 
sition by which all this informa- 
tion must be approached. Ethics 
is not enough. Without meta- 
physical or religious rootage 


Christian Frontiers 

moral ideals are impotent. May- 
be it is this which is involved 
in the author's words quoted 
above and interpreted as a subtle 
hint concerning what such a 
congress would have to realize 
finally. With only 105 pages in 
the book it would have been most 
helpful if the author had added 
a couple of chapters to develop 
the relationship between the 
empirically gathered behavior 
statements and a word-view. 

In this book as in his earlier 
volumes, the author's brilliance 
in turning an apt phrase and stir- 
ring one's imagination is mani- 
fest on every page. One may 
venture to suggest that a num- 
ber of sermons will be worked 
from his two or three page vivid 
recounting and interpretation of 
the parable of "The Barren Fig 
Tree" at the beginning of the 
book and the equally suggestive 
treatment of the Tower of Siloam. 
No book is quite so stimulating 
as one which comes forth with 
definite proposals for us to face. 
This book does just that. We 
need such stimulation for both 
thought and action. 

Ralph E. McLain 


for church union," Dr. Oliver J. 
Collins, superintendent of the 
Wilmington District of the Pe- 
ninsula Conference, the Method- 
ist Church, called here for mer- 
ger of the Protestant Episcopal 
and Methodist churches. 

He asserted that "it is time 
for us to bury the hatchet that 
severed the Methodist Societies 
from the Anglican Communion. 
We have much in common. The 
Methodist Church had enough 
evangelical fervor to increase its 
membership during the confer- 
ence year 1945-46 by one million 
souls. Anglicanism has displayed 
a vigorous, dynamic churchman- 

Wilmington, Del. (RNS)— As- 
serting that 1947 is the year for 
Protestants "to think and battle 

Atlanta, Ga. (RNS)— Plans for 
the merger of the Presbyterian 
Church in the U.S.A. and the 
Presbyterian Church in the U.S. 
(Southern) have progressed 
"most satisfactorily," it was an- 
nounced here by leaders of both 
denominations following a four- 
day conference on the proposed 

The denominational leaders 
comprised a joint drafting com- 
mittee, and the sessions here 
were devoted to completion of 
plans for amalgamation of two 
church divisions which have 
existed since the Civil War. 

Main points considered during 
the sessions involved general 
regional organization, method of 
representation, degree of author- 
ity and jurisdictional to be grant- 
ed synods, arrangements for ad- 
ministrative headquarters in the 
regional areas, and qualifications 
required for church membership. 

Herefand There with the Baptists 

Little Rock, Ark. (RNS)— Ar- 
kansas Baptists made gains in 
every phase of their activity the 
past year, the Rev. Taylor Stan- 
fill, recording secretary of the 
Arkansas Baptist State Conven- 
tion, announced. 

Membership of the churches 
now stands at 185,128, a gain of 
4,068 during the year. There were 
9,941 baptisms during 1946, a gain 
of 402 over 1945. Grand total of 
gifts for the year was $4,058,590, 
an increase of $774,486 over 1945. 

Columbus, Ohio (RNS)— The 
Northern Baptist Convention's 
World Mission Crusade drive to 
raise $14,000,000 for postwar re- 
lief, reconstruction, rehabilita- 
tion and evangelism already has 
passed the $8,000,000 mark, it was 
announced here at a meeting of 
the denomination's General Coun- 
cil and Council on Finance and 

According to Dr. C. Oscar 
Johnson, of St. Louis, national 
chairman of the Crusade's Com- 
mittee of a Thousand, the $14,- 
000,000 goal will be reached by 
April 30, 1947 "if we continue to 
follow the course and the pace 
that has been set since the in- 
tensive part of this Crusade was 
launched on September 1." 

Memphis, Tenn. (RNS)— Es- 
tablishment of blood banks in 
hospitals throughout the South 
and the donation of 1,000,000 
pints of blood by Baptist men 
has been suggested as a 1947 

project of the Baptist Brother- 
hood of the South. 

lLawson H. Cooke, southwide 
executive secretary, made the 
announcement at the annual 
meeting of the State Brotherhood 
Secretaries Association. He said 
that conversations are now in 
progress with physicians and 
hospitals to ascertain the prac- 
ticality and the possible extent of 
this Brotherhood project. 

Dallas, Texas (RNS)— Baptist 
groups in 14 Texas cities have 
applied for stations in the pro- 
posed Baptist state frequency 
modulation network, and a re- 
search fund of $175,000 has been 
allotted to begin operation. How- 
ever, it is expected that it will 
take a year for the network to 

Applications for Baptist-oper- 
ated FM stations include groups 
from Houston, Mt. Pleasant, Lub- 
bock, Dallas, Harlingen, Tyler, 
and Henderson, as well as Baylor 
University at Waco, Southwest- 
ern Baptist Theological Seminary 
at Fort Worth, Howard Payne 
College at Brownwood, and Har- 
din-Simmons University at Abi- 

Fort Worth, Texas (RNS) — 
The Rev. C. E. Matthews, super- 
intendent of evangelism of the 
Texas State Baptist Convention 
here, has been appointed evan- 
gelism superintendent of the 
Southern Baptist Convention. 

Mr. Matthews originated the 
Texas Baptist plan of mass evan- 


Christian Frontiers 

gelism through simultaneous re- 
vival meetings by all churches. 
He hopes to standardize the pro- 
gram of evangelism for all 20 
states of the Southern Baptist 

Los Angeles (RNS)— To min- 
ister to the cultural and spiritual 
needs of Negroes, Japanese, and 
white residents of this commun- 
ity, a $250,000 church, Trinity 
Baptist, is to be built here. Ac- 
cording to plans of the pastor, 
Dr. Jonathon Gaston, one aim of 
the church will be "to fight dis- 
ease, crime and delinquency." 

Richmond, Va. (RNS)— Total 
receipts of the foreign mission 
board of the Southern Baptist 
Convention during the first 11 
months of 1946 were $7,930,899, 
more than double last year's total 
for the same period, and the 
highest amount in its 101-year 
history, it was reported at a 
meeting of the board here by 
E. P. Buxton, treasurer. 

Dr. M. Theron Rankin, execu- 
tive secretary, told the board 
that the anticipated income for 
1947 will total $4,000,000. 

Eastman, Ga. (RNS)— Some- 
times sermons are irresistible. 

The Rev. Max O'Neal, pastor 
of the First Baptist Church of 
Eastman, recently delivered a 
sermon entitled "Do Not Sin 
Against the Children," in which 
he denounced Eastman's old, 
rickety public school building. 

Within 24 hours after his talk, 
members of the congregation 
made arrangements for a mass 
meeting. Preparations were so 

complete that practically all of 
Eastman's 3,311 citizens attended. 
The mass meeting brought con- 
tributions amounting to $40,000 
in cash toward construction of a 
new school building and an addi- 
tional $10,000-worth of pledges 
of materials and personal serv- 

Nashville, Tenn. (RNS)— Es- 
tablishment of a fourth seminary 
by the Southern Baptist Conven- 
tion, the new one being some- 
where on the southeastern 
Atlantic coast, appeared almost 
a certainty with decision of the 
Convention's Executive Commit- 
tee here to recommend such 
action to the Convention meeting 
at Saint Louis next May. 

Wake Forest College campus 
at Wake Forest, N. C, is con- 
sidered a prime contender for 
location of the new seminary, 
if founded. The college, one of 
the most historic and well-known 
institutions in the denomination, 
is being moved to Winston-Salem, 
so as to be eligible for a grant 
of more than $10,000,000 from 
the Reynolds foundation. 

Nashville, Tenn. (RNS)— A 
total of 13,000 churches in the 
Southern Baptist Convention are 
planning building projects esti- 
mated to cost $250,000,000 as soon 
as building materials are avail- 

The estimate was made by Dr. 
J. O. Williams to the December 
meeting of the Baptist Sunday 
School Board, the result of a 
survey by the Department of 
Church Architecture. 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 
Vol. II MARCH, 1947 No. 3 


Das Kelley Barnett, Editor-in-Chief 
William W. Finlator, Associate Editor William M. Poteat, Book Editor 

Almonte C. Howell, Advisory Editor Marjorie E. Moore, Advisory Editor 

Sara Lowrey, Poetry Editor 


W. O. Carver, Louisville, Ky. 

H. B. Cross, Nashville, Term. Swan Hayworth, Vicksburg, Miss. 

George B. Cutten, Chapel Hill, N. C. Withrow T. Holland, Haynesville, La. 

J. M. Dawson, Washington, D. C. 

Adiel J. Moncrief, St. Joseph, Mo. 
Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. 

Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C Blake Smith ' Austin, Texas 

J. C. Wilkinson, Athens, Georgia Hubert R. Howard, Jr., Tulsa, Okla. 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 
Fred B. Helms John McGinnis 

Carl Lee Ousley Warren Carr 

R. K. Redwine A. C. McCall 

Wilbur W. Hutchins 


Editorials 75 

Thus He Waits Claude U. Broach.. 79 

How Old Are the Baptist Churches? R. E. E. Harkness.. 80 

The Subconscious Underworld of Childhood.. ..S. L. Morgan, Sr 86 

Books 98 

Correspondence 100 

News 102 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July and August) by the Baptist 
Book Club, a non-profit fellowship of ministers and laymen. Address all corres- 
pondence to Box 508, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 by the Baptist 
Book Club. Entered as second class matter February 6, 1947 at the post office at 
Chapel Hill, N. C. under the Act of March 3, 1879. Subscription price, two dollars 
a year; twenty-five cents a copy. Printed by The Graphic Press, Inc., Raleigh,N.C. 

Who's Who In This Issue 

CLAUDE U. BROACH, who contributes a poem to this 
issue, is pastor of St. John's Baptist Church in Charlotte, and 
a graduate of the University of Georgia and the Baptist 
Theological Seminary. 

R. E. E. HARKNESS is a resident of Chester, Pa., and 
editor of The Chronicle, a Baptist historical quarterly. 

S. L. MORGAN, SR., a retired minister now living at 
Wake Forest, N. C, was also a contributor to former issues of 
this magazine. 

HELMUT KUHN, who contributes the book review to 
this issue, is a professor in the Philosophy Department of the 
University of North Carolina and has his Ph.D. from the 
University of Breslau. 


The South Must Feel Her Own Pulse 

THE ANCIENT maxim, "know thyself," is a primary 
tenet of modern psychotherapy. Ingeniously and 
delicately the psychiatrist seeks to explain the patient to 
himself, to make him see for himself the basic motives, the 
defeated hopes, the secret fears, the lurking sins (without 
using the term) that lie behind his aberrations and con- 
fusions. Granted that the patient has a sincere desire for 
restoration and sufficient recuperative powers it is enough that 
with the help of another person or alone he take an honest 
look at himself. After a pretty thorough self-searching it is 
recorded of the prodigal in the foreign country that "when 
he came to his senses" (Moffatt) he resolved penitently to 
return home. 

We live in a section of the nation which is more than 
America's economic problem No. 1. The problem of the 
southland is bigger and far more complex than low wages, 
poor health, inadequate housing, eroded farms. Ours is a 
psychological problem. We are victims of inherited delu- 
sions, traditional prejudices, inbred fanaticisms, and tragic 
oppression. The last cause is an indictment of a victorious 
North from Reconstruction days until this present day. More 
than anything else the South needs to explain herself to 
herself. And the physician must not be imported. Her own 
sons must rise up to play the physician and say to a sick 
southland, "Thou ailest here, and here!" 

They must show us how the more economically insecure 
our whites are the more intense the racial animosities, how 
the poor exploited white man in order to preserve some 
shred of self respect takes it out on the negro to be sure that 
some one is a little lower in the scale than he. They must 
demonstrate how this wretched drive for self-assertion 
spawns the Ku Klux Klan, the Columbians and other fascist 
groups. Their diagnosis must open our eyes to the manner 
in which racism serves the interests of investors from other 
sections of the nation and has even been encouraged by such 
investors to hide from us the true cause of economic back- 

76 Christian Frontiers 

wardness — colonialism. The other-worldliness of our churches 
must be brought up for scrutiny as well as the preaching 
which invests the status quo with sanctity and scriptural 
support. Along with this must come up the sin of our inor- 
dinate pride, pride that though defeated we were never 
conquered, pride in an illustrious South that ought never 
to have been, pride in an Anglo-Saxon homogeneity which 
still "balkanizes" us from the rest of the nation. 

But the physician must do more than deal with a spiritual 
and psychical trauma. He must lead the patient to an appre- 
ciation of the patient's latent potentialities; he must point 
out, or rather have the patient discover for himself, his 
reservoir of natural resources in readiness for service. So 
the Dixie doctor must remind us of the vast resources of our 
children. If the psalmist is correct in his statement of a man's 
happiness whose quiver is full of children, then the South, 
the last booming children-production center of the nation, 
might be exultant. And here we have the best climate in 
the nation. Else why did the government erect the greater 
part of its military camps in the South? And here are the 
minerals and the forests and the resorts. And here is the 
greatest segment of un-naturalized American citizens, the 
Negro, ten million strong in the southern states, waiting as 
so much precious raw material to be processed and refined 
into the best of American citizenry. And scorn it as you may, 
ye sophisticated, referring to it as the Bible Belt, here too 
is a church-mindedness among both races, unparalleled else- 
where, that carries the seeds of a spiritual revolution. 

So the South, explaining herself to herself, seeing the 
frustrations, inner repressions, guilt consciousness, artificial 
poverty, isolationism and regionalism, that throttle her 
sound health and progress, must also see the resources of 
healing, the elan vital, in the very genius of her people and 
land. And so she must forget the things which are behind 
and reach forward to a future of prosperity, spiritual leader- 
ship and cultural achievement exceeding the fondest hopes 
and dreams of Henry W. Grady. 

W. W. F. 

Editorials 77 

Fundamentalism and Labor Unionism 

ARTICLES and editorials dealing with labor and the 
church in the South have appeared frequently in 
Christian Frontiers. Any question in the minds of our read- 
ers as to the need of this frequency may be dispelled by 
reading an editorial in the winter issue of Prophetic Religion, 
organ of the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen. Here a 
"blast of thirty retaliatory letters," mailed in reply to a recent 
reminder sent out by the FSC to 25,000 southern ministers 
that officially, at least in principle, trade unionism has the 
support of the denominations, is broken down into four 
groups. One might add that the groupings are along classical 

First, "the church should not pontificate on any labor or 
political question because Jesus said before Pilate, 'My king- 
dom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world 
then would my servants fight.' " In this group was offered the 
claim that the sole duty of the church was to teach people 
"to shun hell and win heaven." Second, it therefore follows 
that Christians should "come out from the world" (surely 
these were our Baptist brethren) and have no traffic with 
such organizations as trade unions especially since so many 
members are as yet unsaved. Here was tortured for further 
Biblical support Paul's warning, "Be not unequally yoked 
together with unbelievers." Third, the protest against the 
agitation and confusion brought in by labor unions which 
prevent the brethren from dwelling together in peace. Once 
again the authority of the apostle Paul was appealed to: 
"Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers," but 
the appellant did not specify whether the "higher powers" 
might be the N.A.M. or something else. Wrote one indignant 
pastor plaintively, "I think the South was doing pretty well 
by itself until northern labor interests took a hand. . . . Since 
then I have seen no peace here." Rather similar to the full- 
blooded southerner's remark we often hear, "What negro 
problem? We don't have no negro problem if you'd let us 
alone." And fourth, there was the complaint the labor lead- 
ers are un-Christian and immoral, employing methods that 
no Christian can follow. One less impulsive pastor suggested 

78 Christian Frontiers 

that he would cooperate if and when labor became more 

We agree with Prophetic Religion that these letters of 
refutation are important "because they are indicative of an 
appalling ignorance, religious bibliolatry and twisted ideal- 
ism which today shackle many southern ministers and which 
through their words and deeds bind the congregations to 
their own state of backwardness." As to the ignorance of 
the realities of labor we deplore the prejudicial information 
reaching our ministers through the newspapers and radio 
and shudder not to recommend to their reading along with 
this distinguished Baptist journal such publications (saints 
preserve us) as PM, the Nation, and The New Republic. As 
to bibliolatry and "twisted idealism," well, this is a long 
story. Biblical literalism goes hand in glove with economic 
determinism and exploitation. Suffice it here to say that we 
indict our colleges and seminaries for their timidity or want 
of social vision or both in failing to equip our ministry with 
a solid concern for and a sound understanding of the funda- 
mental realities of economic justice and opportunity. 

W. W. F. 

A Pressure Group to End Pressure Groups 

'HpHERE IS as much truth as jibe in the remark that 
x what we have in Washington is "government by 
pressure groups." No person or cause can hope for recogni- 
tion or consideration apart from a bloc or lobby or pressure 
group. Hence the silver bloc, the cotton bloc, the labor union, 
the N.A.M., the oil lobby, the real estate associations, the 
whiskey interests, race pressure groups, the National Catho- 
lic Welfare Conference, etc. Writing in the January 20 issue 
of Christianity and Crisis, Dr. Henry P. Van Dusen complains 
that "methods to secure minority ends against majority weal, 
originally developed by organized business and finance, are 
now employed by every segment of the population with 
limited and particular interests— labor, farmers, races. . . . 
The ominous fact is: the bedrock of American democracy, 
vaguely yet adequately identified as the middle and pro- 

Editorials 79 

fessional classes, is rapidly losing effective voice in the affairs 
of state." Dr. Van Dusen goes on to advocate something new 
under the sun of American political science, a huge, over-all 
organization of this middle class for the benefit of all and for 
the protection of all. "It might bear the simple title "CITI- 
ZENS INCORPORATED." It would be committed to a single 
principle— the interest of the whole people above the inter- 
est of any segment. It would espouse a single objective — 
insistence upon the general welfare against every threat 
from a special and limited dictation." And here comes the 
most interesting phase of the idea for us: since the greater 
part of our American churches draw their strength from 
the middle and professional classes and since this last "pres- 
sure group" must be composed of these people, "it is the 
legitimate role of the churches, indeed an inescapable respon- 
sibility, to bring their constituencies to intelligent under- 
standing of this issue which lies at the root of most of our 
domestic maladies, and of the dimensions of the peril. In 
the long view, the survival of American democracy in the 
troublous decades ahead may hang on a resolution of this 

W. W. F. 

Thus He Waits 

As the sower waits for harvest, 
As the parched earth waits for 

As the open furrow waits for 

As the lover waits for an answer, 
So God waits for our willingness 
As He dreams of a world at 


— Claude U. Broach 

80 Christian Frontiers 

How Old Are the Baptist Churches 

R. E. E. Harkness 

/~\NE THING of which we must be careful in this study 
^^ is not to confuse the history of Baptists with the 
history of the principles upon which as a religious group 
they are founded. They are not identical. 

We may profitably ask ourselves, as an illustration, how 
old are the principles upon which the Democratic party in 
the United States was formed? Certainly they are older than 
the nation itself and may be said to be the political principles 
upon which the Republic was established. But the Democratic 
party, as an organized body, had its origin much later. The 
national period of our country's history began in 1787-89 
with the adoption of the Constitution while historians place 
the birth of the party, as we know it today, as late as 1828-29. 
So it is with the history of the Baptists. The principles 
which they have stressed, the doctrines they have believed 
and taught, the faith to which they have held through suffer- 
ing and death, the church order they have adopted, their 
policy and practice have their roots in the inspired utterances 
of the prophets of the Old Testament and in the teachings 
of John the Baptist of the New. But especially are they 
founded in the messages of Jesus Christ to men and in the 
gospel proclaimed by the apostles. 

There can be no doubt or denial of that fact. 
But the Baptists as a distinct Christian organization, as a 
sect or denomination, did not have their origins in those 
periods of history. It is true that down through the centuries 
to the Reformation and much later, even to the present, there 
have been Christian bodies who held and hold to all or some 
of these principles but they were and are not Baptists either 
in name or in reality. In all that time, particularly, though 
not solely, down to the Reformation, groups who held these 
doctrines and observed these practices we call Baptist, either 
also taught other doctrines and forms of polity which Baptists 
have in general rejected as repugnant to them, or they have 
neglected as being indifferent and unnecessary certain views 
and practices which Baptists have insisted are essential in 
a true church of Christ. 

How Old Are the Baptist Chueches? 81 

For instance, the Greek Orthodox Church has always 
observed immersion as the New Testament form of baptism. 
But is does so by infant baptism. The Petrobrusians of the 
twelfth century taught, it is true, that the Scriptures are the 
only rule of faith and practice and that only believers in 
Christ should be baptized. But there is no proof whatever 
that the rite was performed by immersion — all evidence 
pointing rather to affusion. Moreover, they believed that 
church edifices should not be erected for purposes of wor- 
ship. We can scarcely call these people Baptists. 

In this same century Peter Waldo taught similar views. 
While, however, some of his followers rejected infant bap- 
tism and all the sacraments, others believed in transubstan- 
tiation, priests, and bishops. 

Later the Anabaptists, especially the disciples of Menno 
Simons in Holland, rejected infant baptism, taught the priest- 
hood of believers, affirmed that Scripture is the sole guide and 
authority of the Christian (the latter two of which, as a matter 
of fact, Luther also taught) but few of them baptized by im- 
mersion, nor do they to this day. Quite different from Baptists, 
they refused to take the oath or bear arms and some to hold 
civil office. Certain of these Anabaptists and Mennonites con- 
tinue to this day entirely distinct from the Baptists in any 
part of the world. 

The Baptists, as a sect, an organized body of Christian be- 
lievers, had their origin in 1608. There is no reference to them 
in any literature before that date. The name does not appear 
prior to it, nor do they themselves at that time ever lay claim 
to having had an earlier origin. 

The story of their beginnings, substantiated by undeni- 
able historical sources, is as follows: 

The English Parliament in 1534 by the Act of Supremacy 
rejected the papal claim to the headship of the national church 
and enacted that "the King . . . shall be taken, accepted and 
reputed the only supreme head on earth of the Church of 
England." There was, however, little change otherwise, 
Henry VIII declaring that the Church varied not in one jot or 
tittle from the faith Catholic. 

This was not sufficient for those English Christians, who, 
having been exiled to Geneva in the reign of Roman Catholic 

82 Christian Frontiers 

Mary (1553-58), were influenced by John Calvin and urged 
larger reforms when they returned to England upon the as- 
cension of Elizabeth to the throne. These were the Puritans 
to whom an established church was acceptable but who 
wished to purge the English church of some of its Roman 
ceremonies and observances. 

Others went farther still insisting that the New Testament 
church was a free church, separate from the State with the 
right to manage its own affairs and determine voluntarily its 
own form of worship. These extremists of that day, thus deny- 
ing the authority both of State and Church, were severely 
persecuted in the closing years of the sixteenth and the open- 
ing years of the seventeenth centuries. A number of groups 
were forced into exile to Holland as early as 1581. 

One such church at Gainsborough near Norwich in Nor- 
folk county, under the ministry of Rev. John Smyth, was 
driven into banishment in 1606, settling at Amsterdam, Hol- 
land. A sister church from nearby Scrooby emigrated in 
1607-08 under the leadership Rev. John Robinson. These 
people took up their abode at Leyden, Holland, from whom 
came the Pilgrim Fathers of Plymouth Rock. The former 
group became Baptists. 

John Smyth was ever a man who sought the truth, yearn- 
ing to know the will of God and the mind and spirit of Christ. 
He passed through Anglicanism, in which establishment he 
had been ordained, into Puritanism and thence into the Sep- 
aratist position. Accordingly he believed in a free church 
composed of regenerated persons, by their faith in the atone- 
ment of Christ, who voluntarily covenanted together to effect 
such an organization, the church. He and his followers af- 
firmed the sole Headship of Jesus Christ in the church, the 
priesthood of the believer, the Scriptures as the only rule of 
faith and practice for the disciple. 

But, as other Separatists, they still believed in and ob- 
served the rite of infant baptism as a New Testament ordin- 

Thrown into close fellowship with the Mennonites in Am- 
sterdam they were led in 1608 by these faithful Christians to 
the true light, rejecting infant baptism and administering 
baptism only upon those who made a sincere profession of 

How Old Are the Baptist Churches? 83 

faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. Smyth, according to 
all historical evidence, baptized himself by affusion and then 
baptized, in a similar way, some 41 others who had allied 
themselves with him in this new church of the New Testa- 
ment pattern. Thus was the first Baptist church organized. 

Smyth in the process of time came to feel that his self- 
baptism did not have Scriptural warrant and he therefore 
considered uniting with the Mennonites in order that he 
might receive baptism from them which seemed to him to be 
more in accord with the New Testament records because they 
were already an established church. If he and his associates 
were organizing a church de novo it might be proper for them 
to proceed as they had, but since there was a duly organized 
Christian church (the Mennonite) at hand from whose or- 
dained minister he might receive the ordinance he felt con- 
vinced he should join with them. 

Many of his members, however, led by Thomas Helwys and 
John Murton opposed this move, first of all declaring that 
there were a number of Mennonite doctrines with which they 
did not and could not agree and, secondly, asserting that as 
they had New Testament authority for organizing their 
church they certainly had the same authority to baptize them- 
selves. If two or three believers in Christ voluntarily form a 
church, withouth reference to or sufferance of pope or bishop, 
or any other earthly authority, then it followed certainly that 
such believers had the prior right to administer their own 

Smyth died in August 1612 and in the same year the maj- 
ority of the English Christian people returned home under 
the leadership of Thomas Helwys and John Murton to esta- 
blish the first Baptist churches in London and its vicinity. 
Helwys declared that if they truly believed what they pro- 
fessed and were loyal to Christ they should not seek security 
from persecution but should bear witness to their faith what- 
ever the price they might be called upon to pay. Soon after 
returning to their native land Helwys suffered imprisonment 
from which, evidently, he never found release. 

In 1612 he published a book entitled The Mistery of Iniq- 
uity a copy of which he presented to King James I, who 
claimed he ruled by divine right. The dedication reads in part: 

84 Christian Frontiers 

"Heare King, and dispise not the counsell of the poore, 
and let their complaints come before thee. 

The King is a mortall man, and not God therefore hath 
no power over the immortall soules of his subjects, to make 
lawes and ordinances for them, and to set spiritual Lords 
over them. 

If the king have authority to make spiritual Lords and 
Lawes, then he is an immortall God, and not a mortall man. 

King be not seduced by deceivers to sin against God 
whome thou oughtest to obey, nor against thy poore sub- 
jects who ought and will obey thee in all things with body, 
life and goods, or else let their lives be taken from the earth. 
God save the King." 
In the body of his book he thus writes to this autocratic 

"Our lord the King is but an earthly King, and he hath 
no aucthority as a King but in earthly causes, and if the 
Kings people be obedient and true subjects, obeying all 
humane lawes made by the King, our lord the King can 
require no more; for mens religion to God is betwixt God 
and themselves; the King shall not answere for it, neither 
may the King be judg betweene God and man. Let them be 
heretikes, Turcks, Jewes or whatever, it apperteynes not 
to the earthly power to punish them in the least measure." 
These were known as the General Baptists because hav- 
ing been in Holland they adopted the Arminian theology the 
chief tenet of which is that the atonement of Jesus was pro- 
vided for the salvation of all men who would freely partake 
thereof through faith in Christ. John Smyth signed a Con- 
fession of Faith containing 20 articles written in Latin but 
never printed. Later he and 41 others signed one of 38 articles. 
After Smyth's death in 1612 and before 1614 some of his 
associates published another statement. Many others appear- 
ed but the Declaration of 1660 definitely refutes the charge 
that they are "Ana-Baptists" and is the first to prescribe im- 
mersion as the New Testament form of baptism. 

In 1633 a slightly different order of Baptists arose. Rev. 
Henry Jacob, who had been pastor of an Independent Puritan 
church composed of English people in Holland, returned to 
England in 1616 with a church at Southwark near old Lon- 
don. With this congregation were many members who held 
scruples regarding infant baptism. In 1633 some of these 
withdrew from the parent body and formed a church adopt- 

How Old Are the Baptist Churches? 85 

ing baptism upon profession of faith in Christ. This was the 
beginning of the Particular Baptists, so called because they 
were Calvinists believing in a limited atonement of the elect 
only. They too drew up their Confessions of Faith, their first 
in 1644 stating that their churches were "commonly (though 
falsely) called Anabaptists." 

These Confessions, whether of the General or the Par- 
ticular Baptists were not creeds requiring the signature of 
those who might desire membership in the churches. The 
introduction or preface to the 1651 General Confession reads: 
"Published (in love) by consent of two from each Con- 
gregation, appointed for that purpose. 1. To inform those 
who have a desire to know what Religious Duties they 
hold forth. 2. To undeceive those that are mis-informed 
thereof. 3. To the end that the said Congregations may in 
love, and the spirit of Meekness, be informed by any that 
conceive they walk amiss." 
The preface to the first Confession of the Particular Bap- 
tists (1644) is as follows: 

Presented to the view of all that feare God, to examine 
by the touchstone of the Word of Truth; As likewise for the 
taking off those aspersions which are frequently both in 
Pulpit and Print, (although unjustly) cast upon them. 
Baptists, then, are the Protestants of the Protestants. They 
suffered persecution from Protestants as well as Roman Cath- 
olics. But they held firmly and loyally to their convictions 
that their doctrines and principles were those proclaimed by 
Jesus and the apostles. Their churches in outward form 
necessarily differed from those of primitive Christians but in 
spirit and in truth they were in true accord with them. 

Baptists need not seek their own honor and glory, nor 
the eternal verities of their teaching and polity, in their 
allegiance to some great historic character as their founder; 
no matter how exalted that man may be, their glory and their 
authority is to be found in their constant obedience and 
loyalty to Jesus Christ as the supreme Lord of conscience 
and conduct, and in their own world-wide achievements for 
the salvation of men throughout the centuries in His name 
and for His sake. 

Thomas Crosby, The History of the English Baptists, London, 1738 
Joseph Ivimey, A History of the English Baptists, London, 1811 
Adam Taylor, A History of the English General Baptists, London, 1818 
John Smyth's own writings and numerous other sources. 

86 Christian Frontiers 

The Subconscious Underworld of Childhood 

S. L. Morgan, Sr. 

rOW FOR HALF a century many of the best minds 
of the world have been probing deep into child 
nature and child psychology. The result is a profound under- 
standing of the mind and soul of a child beyond that of any 
previous generation. And out of this wealth of understanding 
one momentous conclusion emerges with startling distinct- 
ness. It is that distorted ideas, morbid fears, conflicting con- 
cepts lodged in the mind of a little child may remain hidden 
away m the subconscious to warp and blight the entire life 
and even result in wrecking one's religious faith, sometimes 
even causing an emotional or physical breakdown after many 

Among such ruinous ideas in the mind of a child are 
ideas that sex desire is wicked or dirty, that ghosts or demons 
are watching it, that God is vengeful and harsh, punishing 
without mercy, or sending sickness, death, or calamity as a 
judgment for sin. To safeguard childhood against such 
ruinous ideas has been a leading motive behind all the mod- 
ern crusade for the wiser training of children. It has brought 
a short conflict between the old and the new schools of thought 
in regard to the child; the old holding on to the view that 
the child is simply a sinner, and conversion its only remedy- 
the new school adding that, not only sin in the blood stream' 
but ruinous ideas lodged in the subconscious of the child' 
perhaps by unwise parents or teachers, may put a twist in 
the character or doom the life after many years. 

Underworld of Childhood 

The new sciences of psychology and psychiatry have un- 
covered to us an underworld of tragedy hardly less dismal 
and awesome than the underworld uncovered in Dante's 
Inferno, where the damned suffer endless torture This is 
the underworld in the subconscious of childhood, where all 
manner of fears and ugly, distorted ideas have been planted, 
setting up conflicts, ripening into complexes, often hardening 
into neuroses and character twists, frequently destined to 

The Subconscious Underworld of Childhood 87 

blight the personality and doom the life to suffering and fail- 
ure. There is imperative need for parents, teachers, preachers, 
social workers, and all others that have to do with children, 
to know at least the surface facts about this underworld. A 
vast literature has been built up in this field, and ignorance 
is almost inexcusable. It seems particularly so for the edu- 
cated minister. 

The list of such childhood tragedies would be endless, 
the causes innumerable. A noted minister, who had served 
churches on both sides of the Atlantic, and then for a decade 
or so wrote a daily syndicated article read by millions, and 
who meanwhile had received letters by tens of thousands 
from people who opened to him the dark closets of their 
lives and exposed the skeletons, wrote impressively of this 
underworld as follows: 

"It was amazing to me to learn how many people go 
limping through life, crippled souls, owing to some hurt or 
humiliation, some injustice or cruelty suffered in childhood 
. . . starved souls, of people looking for something lost, of 
stabbing hurts and devastating frustrations. . . . How often, 
when one of the primary instincts is thwarted or bruised, it 
may mar a whole lifetime." • 

Childhood Case Histories 

Here are several instances out of the common everyday 
life of childhood. Dr. J. S. Bonnell, noted New York minister, 
lately named as Dr. Fosdick's successor as coast-to-coast radio 
preacher, gives this in Pastoral Psychiatry. 2 A boy of ten, 
whose father never had any time for him. The sisters were 
loved and petted and praised; he was never appreciated nor 
praised ,but ridiculed and scolded. He grew resentful and 
rebellious, he domineered over his sisters, and was insolent 
to his parents and teachers. Made to feel inferior at home, 
he blustered and stormed to gain attention, and became a 
nuisance and failure at school. He began to feel he was an 
outcast at home, a pariah at school and on the street. He 
grew desperate— "what's the use to try?" Unloved, a nobody, 

i Joseph Fort Newton, River of Years 
2 Bonnell, Pastoral Psychiatry 

Christian Frontiers 

why not do something daring— even a crime, to get talked 
about? So criminals are made, and he was headed towards 
crime, driven by a soul-wound. 

Dr. Bonnell got next to him, the lad's heart open to any- 
one that cared. He went to the parents: "Harold is starving 
for your love and appreciation. You praise his sisters, but 
not him. Love him, praise him, give him some of your time, 
and you'll be proud of him." They began anew. The busy 
father gave him hours a week, taking him to his room and 
treating him as a guest. The boy was soon made over. It 
was a case of "a stabbing hurt" to a child, liable to doom 
him to ruin, and the cause not suspected by the parents. 

Childhood fears often bring devastating results through 
life. A childhood fright lodged in the subconscious may 
prove ruinous. Dr. E. R. Groves in Wholesome Childhood 
tells of a boy of ten who had never spoken a word. His vocal 
organs were found normal. A psychiatrist probed into his 
past; his cultured father had often whipped him as a tiny 
child for trifles, like crying when he wanted to sleep. Fear 
had prevented his trying to talk. The specialist forbade the 
father to see him for some months. Removed from fear of 
his father, the child gradually learned to talk, and was able 
to enter school at ten years of age. 

The same author in his Personality and Social Develop- 
ment tells of a boy of five years who was left several days 
by his parents with the housekeeper. For a supposed mis- 
deed she shut him up in the attic for three days on bread 
and water as punishment till he confessed. After twenty-five 
years she wrote him she learned he was innocent. At the 
age of 60, sick and delirious, he begged to be taken to the 
attic where fifty-five years before he had been imprisoned. 
He sat on a chest weeping, and sobbed out, "Three days, 
nobody came; I listened and listened. Alone! Nobody came!"' 
A mature young woman consulted Dr. Leslie Weather- 
head, London minister and psychologist. She said, "For many 
years I've lived a horrible life, unable to sleep alone, a prey 
to frightful nightmares and sleep-walking. Sometimes I've 
considered suicide." She had dropped a clue that led him 
to suspect a sex fright in childhood. So he said, "Can you 
recall any fright you had as a child?" She said, "No;— -oh, 

The Subconscious Underworld of Childhood 89 

yes, I hadn't thought of it for years. As a little girl I had a 
dreadful fright — from a man." She had pushed it down into 
the subconscious trying to forget it. There it had set up a 
complex, almost driving her to suicide. He brought it out 
in the open for her to look at as something not now to be 
feared, and said, "Clearly that is the cause of your neurosis 
and your nightmares. Otherwise you evidently are well." She 
wrote him later, and then some months later still, and said, 
"Seeing it all came from a childhood fright, and facing it in 
the open, my horrible affliction has almost disappeared after 
years of torture almost to suicide." 

These are but samples of the endless variety of suffering 
coming from ugly things planted in the subconscious of 
childhood. We now turn to the religious aspect of the subject, 
and consider the suffering and lifelong injury that may come 
from lodging in the minds of children ideas of God as harsh 
and vengeful, as angry with the sinner and damning him 
to hell. 

Hurtful Religious Teaching 

On this subject Dorothy F. Wilson writes a very illum- 
inating chapter in her Child Psychology and Religious Edu- 
cation, 3 where she discusses the child's fears and his ideas 
of God. She says there can be no doubt that in the last century 
fear had far too large a place in theology and preaching. 
Jonathan Edwards held his congregation dangling over the 
pit of hell as he vehemently painted its horrors and the doom 
of sinners, till they clung to the benches for fear of immedi- 
ately sinking into hell. After hearing him a little girl of four 
years was heard crying, in dreadful fear that God would not 
forgive her sins and would send her to hell. It is but a sample 
of the suffering of childhood induced by fear of a God of 
wrath who is angry with sinners and dooms them to hell. 
Children were kept in awe of God pictured as a Judge in the 
sky, his eye ever watching the child to write down in a book 
every evil deed and word. One told how his teacher con- 
stantly dwelt on this All-seeing, Unseen eye, ever watching, 
at night the moon and stars helping him to see the better, 

3 Chapter IV 

90 Christian Feontiees 

until late in life he said, "For many years I disliked the 
stars exceedingly." 

The author quotes as a sample of the hymns for children 
this stanza from a book of children's hymns published in 1852: 
"There is a dreadful hell 

And everlasting pains; 

There sinners must with devils dwell, 

In darkness, fire, and chains." 
She concludes that such pictures of hell and such dreadful 
ideas of God, held before children even in evangelistic meet- 
ings down to recent times must have caused "terrible and 
widespread suffering" among children and even neurotic 
troubles, and must have destroyed "all possibility of the 
child's love for God," and often left the whole life soured 
and embittered. 

The writer was preaching several days in a rural church 
years ago. It was the custom to invite penitents to the front 
in making a profession of faith. A little girl of 12, phenome- 
nally bright, was in great distress, weeping under a sense 
of her sins. Repeatedly for two days she made the rounds 
among her friends in the congregation, weeping in agony 
and appealing for help. "I am such a sinner; can't you help 
me?" After two days the burden lifted. It seemed certain 
that parents and teachers and friends had passed down to 
her the older doctrine of a God cruel and vengeful, "angry 
with the wicked every day" (Ps. 7:11), and dooming even 
children to a hell of fire. 

J. G. McKenzie, Scotch social scientist and psychologist, in 
his Psychology, Psychotherapy and Evangelicalism, maintains 
that Starbuck, and Williams James in his Varieties of Reli- 
gious Experience, neglect to give more than scant notice to 
what has preceded the conversion of children. They confine 
their attention to the dramatic moments of conflict immedi- 
ately before and during conversion. "To chop off one particu- 
lar experience as though it had little or no relation to the 
whole past religious life of the individual is fallacious." What 
went on in the early years of childhood usually determines 
even the type of one's conversion. Yet Starbuck and James 
almost pass by the numerous cases where the religious life 
from the early years has been but a gradual unfolding, with 

The Subconscious Underworld of Childhood 91 

no sudden or explosive conversion. Some like E. Stanley 
Jones estimates that this mild, gradual type of conversion is 
60 per cent of the total. And so, if we trace back the stream 
of religious experience far enough, we discover usually that 
what James calls the "varieties of religious experience" were 
already present in early childhood. 

McKenzie continues, "Unfortunately, too many children's 
early experience of religion is colored by ideas of God which 
tend to arouse fear if they do anything wrong. Often this 
results in behavior which leads to neurotic habits." He 
gives an instance. He was asked to see a little girl of 10 or 
11 who said she could not go to sleep because of "thoughts 
that will not go away." At last he drew from her what sort 
of thoughts they were. Timidly she said, "My mind keeps 
saying, 'Damn God, Damn God!' " * 

The psychologist's explanation was that she had been 
taught that God would be angry if she expressed her normal 
desires in certain ways that seemed to her innocent, and 
fear of God blocked the way for such expression, and so her 
heart burst the barrier set up by God and cried out bitterly, 
"Damn God!" Often, he says, such fear in children under a 
sense of guilt drives them to all manner of self-punishment, 
like going to school without breakfast, washing the hands 
often, bowing to every church they pass and saying a prayer. s 

It is hardly open to doubt that the revolt in recent years 
against wildcat, hellfire evangelism arose largely out of a 
growing conviction among the more intelligent of the com- 
munity that revivals making much of such distorted ideas 
of God and his wrath against the sinner, did much positive 
injury to the child. Such revolt was felt acutely in one 
revival in the memory of the writer. A leading evangelist 
of one of the largest denominations in a warehouse meeting 
daily rang the changes on the gruesome phrase, "fry in hell," 
repeated often with hypnotic effect even before the altar 
where little children knelt, apparently aimed at frightening 
children into confessing and foresaking their sins. It proved 
the evangelist's own undoing. The intelligent crowd revolted, 

* McKenzie, Psychology, Psychotherapy and Evangelicalism, 

pp. 46-50 
s McKenzie, p. 49 

92 Christian Frontiers 

and the expected thousands became a handful after a few 
days. It is significant of the more intelligent understanding 
of child nature, and the new crusade to protect it. 

American Pioneer in Child Psychology 

Professor C. P. Oberndorf, Columbia University psychia- 
trist, has a recent book, The Psychiatric Novels of Oliver 
Wendell Holmes, which is a significant "contribution to the 
literature on child nature. He rates Dr. Holmes among the 
greatest doctors in the world of his day, and a pioneer in 
the mental phenomena and diseases of childhood, anticipating 
Freud by some years. Dr. Holmes wrote three novels, Elsie 
Venner, A Guardian Angel, and A Mortal Antipathy, of no 
great literary merit, but with a deep religious objective. 
Unable to attack openly the hellfire preaching of his day, 
Dr. Holmes shrewdly aimed at getting over in fiction his 
own life-long, vehement protest felt against the "damnation 
theology" preached by his own father and other New England 
ministers of his day. All his life Dr. Holmes believed such 
preaching gave a view of God and hellfire punishment that 
blighted and crippled childhood and was a slander on the 
nature of God. All the profound study of childhood in recent 
years in the main confirms Dr. Holmes's teaching. 

In each of the three novels, condensed in the volume 
named, the hero received some inherited trait, or some shock 
in early childhood, that foredooms it to years of suffering. 
This idea is presented most vividly in A Mortal Antipathy, 
written late in Holmes's life, most of his medical study behind 
him. His theory is suggested in an incident told in the 
preface. A mature man declared that he could never pass 
a tall clock in the hall without a feeling of terror. It was 
due to a fright when an infant in arms. A heavy clock weight 
had fallen with a crash and frightened him badly. He never 
got over it. It was likely Holmes's own experience. 

This idea is made the thesis of A Mortal Antipathy. The 
hero of the story is Maurice Kirkwood. At the age of two his 
cousin seized him from his nurse's arms and was tossing him 
up. Badly frightened, he sprang from her and fell from the 
second story balcony into a thorn bush, and the thorns tore 
him badly. His cousin was a beautiful girl of 17. Never 

The Subconscious Underworld of Childhood 93 

afterwards could he look at a young woman without terror 
and becoming deathly pale. Repeatedly he fainted away at 
sight of one. He had to be educated in a boys' school, always 
till he was a mature man living a hermit life, in terror of 
seeing a young woman. His cure came when, helpless from 
long illness, the house on fire, he wakes to find he has been 
carried to safety by a young woman on whom he opens his 
eyes, and feels the surge of gratitude and love. 

In A Guardian Angel the heroine, when a motherless 
child of two years, is cruelly kept in an attic for 18 hours by 
her guardians in a fruitless effort to break her will. Again 
in the attic at ten years, she is dreadfully frightened by put- 
ting her hand on the cold hand of her uncle — hanging dead. 
Meanwhile her soul through the years froze in the atmos- 
phere of the Puritanic religion of the home, majoring on the 
fear of hell. Finally she sprang up in the midst of the worship 
hour, refusing to join in singing a hymn about the terrors 
of hell. She dashed out and away, heedless of the screams 
of her guardians. Repressed and starved for love, she was 
redeemed through the love of a young man. 

The Columbia psychiatrist, author of the recent book, 
assures us that Dr. Holmes's theories, if far ahead of his 
time, accord to a remarkable degree with the findings of 
present-day mental science. 

Injury From Old Testment "Bad Stories" 

In increasing numbers intelligent parents and teachers 
revolt against lodging in the child mind stories representing 
God as a monster of vengeance and cruelty. The conviction 
deepens that only harm can come from planting in the child 
mind the composite picture of God as given in such stories as 
these, if interpreted literally: that God "hardened Pharaoh's 
heart" and then in one night killed the firstborn of man and 
beast in every Egyptian family — because Pharaoh's heart 
was hard; that God advised deception when it would be risky 
to tell the truth ( 1 Sam. 16: 1-5) ; that he ordered a man stoned 
to death for no greater offense than "gathering sticks" on 
the Sabbath to build a fire (Num. 15:32-36); that he ordered 
the merciless slaughter of captive "infants and sucklings" 

94 Christian Frontiers 

(1 Sam. 15:3); that he "sent" a pestilence and killed 70,000 
because David took a census (2 Sam. 24:15). 

It seems no wonder that Studdert-Kennedy, famous chap- 
lain of World War I, calls it "blasphemous" ■ to give children 
such an idea of God as is conveyed by a literal interpretation 
of such stories. Intelligent parents in increasing numbers 
protest against teaching such an idea of God to their children, 
sometimes declaring, "I will take my child from Sunday 
School rather than have him taught such an idea of God!" 

Hardly less blighting to the soul of a child is the persistent 
Old Testament idea that God in wrath "smote" with sickness, 
pestilence, and death those that displeased him. This doctrine 
was losing its hold on the Hebrew people by later Old Testa- 
ment times, and it was expressly rejected by Jesus. The 
affliction of the man born blind was not due to anyone's sin, 
he said (John 9:3). Nor was it a punishment sent for sin 
when 18 were killed by the falling tower of Siloam nor when 
Jewish worshipers were slaughtered by Pilate (Lk. 13:1-5). 
Child psychology today gives convincing evidence that this 
idea of a God smiting in anger with sickness, calamity, and 
death often hardens in the child into a character resentful, 
rebellious, and bitter, not infrequently resulting even in the 
loss of all faith in the Bible that seems to teach it and in the 
church that sponsors the teaching. The literature of child- 
hood is replete with cases of life-long scepticism and bitter- 
ness traceable to this idea of a harsh, vengeful God, striking 
down loved ones with sickness, death, and disaster. Job 
was written to prove that the good are afflicted as well as 
the bad; but in general the language of the old Testament 
seems to justify the belief so prevalent, "God struck the blow, 
God took the dear one." And too often one cries in bitterness, 
"I hate God for it!" Over and over such cases have come 
under the eye of the writer. 

Case 1. A handsome, brilliant young father. Slowly and 
with agony the story came: "A child was to be born, and I 
prayed, if it pleased God, that it might be a boy and a minister. 
The boy was born— a hopeless imbecile! I grew up on the 
traditional Bible doctrine of providence, that when sickness, 
calamity, or death come, God "sent" it. I had been teacher 

e The Hardest Part, p. 55 

The Subconscious Underworld of Childhood 95 

of a big men's class; I led prayer meetings; I made important 
addresses. The blow was too much. The Bible seemed to 
teach all that — and I threw the Bible overboard. Clearly 
that seemed to be the God of the Bible — and I hated him! 
And so I went on for years: no Bible, no God, no religion; 
rebellious, bitter, my back turned on the church. Slowly, 
after years, it began to dawn on me that this was but the 
God of the early Old Testament, not the God and Father of 
Jesus Christ. And this was not the Bible; it was the dim 
belief of the early Old Testament." 

Case 2. One of the most devoted, active Christian couples, 
pillars in their church for years. Then came the war, and 
within weeks both their sons killed. Till past midnight the 
story poured out,' black, hopeless, bitter. The Old Testament 
idea held the center: "God did it, he struck the blow." Faith 
in ruins, would the mind snap, the body succumb to the 
strain? But they had the saving memory of a real religious 
experience, and will likely find their way back through the 
blackness — and even be the finer for it. 

But that is the peril — and the cruelty — of such an idea 
of God planted long ago in the mind of the child. Hidden in 
the subconscious, it builds up there through the years a con- 
flict, the harsh Old Testament idea of God against the tender 
idea given by Jesus, God a Father pitiful even for the sparrow. 
The conflict never resolved, one lacks a settled faith equal 
to meeting a crisis. And so the shaky structure built up round 
a conflict tumbles when some great crisis comes. And some- 
times in the blackness of such a crisis one who is a Christian 
at heart drifts from the uncertain mooring and is heard to 
cry in the bitterness of rebellion, "Damn the Bible! Damn 
God!" And so Studdert-Kennedy, facing the picture of the 
God of cruel acts and commands in the early Old Testament, 
cries bitterly, "If God is like that, I hate him, and I am a 
better man for hating him." 7 

The case histories compiled by modern psychiatry and 
psychoanalysis, even such books as those named above, offer 
abundant documented evidence showing the lifelong harm 
that may come from lodging in the minds of little children 

7 Studdert-Kennedy, The Hardest Part, p. 36 

96 Christian Frontiers 

wrong or distorted ideas of God, punishing cruelly here or 
hereafter, watching to record every wrong act or word; and 
the church in this "century of the child" dare not remain 
ignorant nor indifferent to this vast array of evidence. 

The Church Meeting the Challenge 

In the light of so much evidence of injury to the child from 
such distorted teaching, the church and its leaders no longer 
dare to subject the children under its auspices to such teach- 
ing, no matter how sincere the teachers who interpret the 
Old Testament literally. The , sincerity of such teachers is 
indeed one of the real obstacles. Wise parents, understand- 
ing the principles of progressive revelation, will not permit 
such teaching of their children to go unchallenged. One little 
girl went home from the primary department to say to her 
mother, "I don't believe God told Abraham to kill his son 
and burn him on an altar!" Happy mother of such a child; 
happy child of such a mother! Together they had grasped 
the principle of progressive revelation, that all the Old Testa- 
ment is to be interpreted by the teaching of Christ. That, in 
the words of H. H. Rowley, "By Him the truth of the Old 
Testament is to be tested, and He gives the measure of its 
inspiration." 8 

The pastor has a grave responsibility for the child, and so 
has the seminary that prepared him. So has the Sunday 
School council. Where the pastor and a few leading officials 
are committed to the principle of progressive revelation, grad- 
ually the entire Sunday School council can be brought to 
accept and teach the principle. Sympathy and tact are essen- 
tial. A well-trained assistant in a certain primary department 
ventured to remonstrate on hearing the God of the Old 
Testament held before the children as unethical and cruel. 
"Why teach such ideas of God," she asked; "they will have 
to unlearn it later." The reformer's effort was received coolly, 
and she was squelched. Such efforts in behalf of sounder 
teaching deserve the support of the pastor and other leaders. 
Headway may have to be made slowly and with sympathy 
for those who still accept all the Bible as "meaning exactly 

a Rowley, The Relevance of the Bible, p. 50 

The Subconscious Underworld of Childhood 97 

what it says." The problem and the pathos of the present 
situation in the average church is that the literalists hold 
the initiative, and dare to hold up those who accept the 
principle of progressive revelation as heretics, "destroying 
the Bible." The aim should be for the latter group gradually, 
gently to win— not to seize— the initiative, and so establish 
the principle of progressive revelation wherever the Bible is 
taught in the church. 

If it is true that the child is harmed by teaching it to 
interpret literally the Old Testament passages that represent 
God as doing and commanding unethical or cruel things, 
then the church dare not remain passive to such teaching. 
The warning of Jesus is pertinent here also, that it is prefer- 
able to end life in the ocean depths with a millstone round 
the neck than to lodge such ideas in the child mind— or to 
permit it under church auspices. Hardly anything is more 
harmful to a child than to lodge in its mind wrong ideas of 
God. Joseph Fort Newton tells of going to his wise mother, 
disturbed about what his church taught about God as 
vengeful and cruel. He said, "If Jesus is right, the church 
is wrong; and if one is wrong about God, he cannot be right 
about anything else, or very little." Earnestly she said, "Son, 
listen only to Jesus. Accept what he says about God . . . 
nothing else, nothing less; test everything by Him— forget 
the rest." * It was Jesus' own master key to Old Testament 

To establish this principle firmly must be the zealous 
objective for every church. "The times of ignorance God 
winked at;" but ignorance of the danger from any other 
principle of interpretation is no longer excusable. Half a 
century of profound study of child nature and child psychol- 
ogy has been put in our hands. Sincerity is not sufficient. 

9 Joseph Fort Newton, River of Years 


I Chose Freedom. The Personal 
and Political Life of a Soviet 
Official. Victor Kravchenko. New 
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 
1946. 496 pages. $3.50 

In April 1946 a member of the 
Soviet Purchasing Commission in 
Washington created a sensation 
by resigning from his position 
and issuing a communique in 
which he denounced Soviet pol- 
icy. An apostate from Stalinist 
faith seeking shelter in demo- 
cratic publicity — this was a nov- 
elty. In the book before us the 
apostate relates the story of his 
life, with his escape from totali- 
tarian tutelage into American 
freedom as a final climax. It 
would be a pity if this unique 
biographical account should be 
forgotten along with the inci- 
dent which helped it gain an 
ephemeral notoriety. The book 
deserves to be read through more 
than one season and it is recom- 
mended for close examination to 
all who are interested in know- 
ing what is in store for us in the 
one world to come, should this 
one world be of the totalitarian 

Mr. Kravchenko's story is 
worth the telling, and he knows 
how to tell it. He came from a 
Russian working class family 
whose style of existence, in spite 
of czarist oppression, has been 
what we would describe as lower 
middle class rather than prole- 
tarian. His father, idealist and 
revolutionist (the two words 
seem synonyms in Russia), 
fought for freedom and suffered 
imprisonment. Still a boy Victor 

Kravchenko lived through the 
revolution, enlisted in the red 
army, worked as a miner, was 
sent to an engineering school and 
later joined the party. Almost 
miraculously he survived the 
two great purges and rose to a 
leading position in Russian met- 
allurgist industry. His career 
culminated in his appointment 
to membership in the supply de- 
partment of the government dur- 
ing the war. The narrative, 
following this ascent, takes us 
into the Kremlin and the im- 
mediate vicinity of the secluded 
inner circle round Joseph Stalin. 
The writer, through many 
years a member of the Soviet 
elite, has been in an excellent 
position to observe the develop- 
ment of Russia under Stalin, 
especially of the Soviet industrial 
and bureaucratic apparatus. What 
he records about the general 
character of this development 
should perhaps not be new to 
the student of contemporary 
Russia. In point of fact, how- 
ever, the impartial study of Rus- 
sia has lately been discouraged 
among us, partly by the course 
of events, partly by interested 
parties. During the war we nat- 
urally liked to think of Russia 
as the gallant ally, and we did 
not stop to ask whether it was 
love of their regime or love of 
their country which inspired the 
Russian people in their heroic 
fight. We forgot, or tried to for- 
get, the extermination of the 
kulaks as a class, the horrors of 
agrarian collectivization with a 
man-made famine in its wake, 
the mass murders during the 



purges, the mass deportations to 
Siberian death camps, and the 
army of political slave laborers. 
The recollection of the Moscow 
trials of 1938 with their cynical 
degradation of the sanctity of 
law was tabu. But even those 
who are familiar with the gen- 
eral facts will find in Kravchenko 
an unparalleled vividness of nar- 
rative and dramatic evocation 
which instructs and entertains 
at the same time. Since keeping 
a diary must have been out of 
the question for reasons of safe- 
ty we must credit the writer 
with an almost preternatural 
memory. Scenes and conversa- 
tions which took place many 
years ago he seems to remember 
with a photographic wealth and 
precision of detail. 

The reader is not to expect a 
tale of sheer horror. He will rath- 
er be overawed by the spectacle 
of a colossal constructive effort 
which beggars the performances 
of a Hitler, let alone Mussolini. 
The writer admits that the men 
round Stalin are competent ad- 
ministrators, and animated by a 
single-minded devotion to their 
task. But this constructive enter- 
prise is carried on with enormous 
blundering, inconceivable waste, 
with diabolic brutality and a cyn- 
ical disregard for human life and 
human freedom. The chief in- 
strument of Soviet statecraft is 
the NKVD, with its net-work of 
agents the all-seeing eye of the 
omnipotent state. And this is 
clearly bent on swallowing up 
the earth by liberating people 
after people from the capitalist 

The unfolding of the external 

drama is parallelled by an in- 
ternal drama — the history of 
Victor Kravchenko's defection. 
Here we may discover a weak- 
ness in the report. What the 
author opposes to the terrifying 
reality of the communist regime 
is neither Christian faith nor a 
liberal political philosophy. In 
taking his stand he is prompted 
only by a sense of decency and 
his innate love of freedom. The 
word "only" is written with mis- 
givings. It is true, decency and 
love of freedom are "only" a be- 
ginning in the sense that both 
moral growth and political act- 
ion need for their development 
a broader basis than the one 
furnished by these two element- 
ary conditions. But it is true that 
without them there can neither 
civilization nor Christianity. Mr. 
Kravchenko's book reminds us 
of the threatened foundations of 
the civilized world. 

The writer implies or suggests 
answers to the main questions 
which Communist Russia poses 
to its contemporaries. One of 
these questions concerns the 
Orthodox Church whose re-est- 
ablishment during the war has 
been hailed by Christian leaders 
in this country as a turning-point 
in Russian history and an impor- 
tant step towards the reunion of 
East and West. Forming a reli- 
able opinion is difficult because 
the "iron curtain" prevents us 
from obtaining first-hand know- 
ledge. And obscurity is made 
more obscure by the first-hand 
igorance with which beneficiar- 
ies of Stalin's selective hospital- 
ity generally return from their 
well-planned sightseeing trips. 


Christian Frontiers 

So I quote without comment this 
passage, which has a bearing on 
this problem, leaving it to the 
reader to dismiss it, if he so 
decides, as phantasms of a dis- 
gruntled fool or inventions of a 
fascist agent. 

The chosen quotation renders 
a scene of the time immediately 
after the re-establishment of the 
Orthodox Church. Mironov, a big 
man in the government, is intro- 
duced as addressing a meeting 
of high officials and party mem- 
bers inside the Kremlin. 

"Our new religious policy 
will be valuable in smash- 
ing the anti-Soviet propa- 
ganda of the Roman Catho- 
lic, Lutheran, and other re- 
ligious groups. Therefore do 
not underestimate the wis- 
dom of our Party's action. 
We must, in the next period, 
take a broad view of the pro- 
blem. We have the chance to 
draw the Orthhodox Church 
in other countries closer to 
Russia and make Russia the 
Third Rome." 

"But Comrade Mironov," 
one of the men present spoke 
up, "isn't there a danger that 
the new generation, which 
will one day take our place, 
may be spoiled by religious 

"Don't worry o n that 
score," he replied, smiling. 
"There is neither soil nor sap 
on which religion can feed in 
the U.S.S.R. After all, the 
press, theater, radio, schools, 
literature, all the forces of 
the mind are in the Party's 
sole control. It's clear to 
everyone that a young man 
with religious inclinations 
cannot possibly make a 
career. If he is not on our 
side spiritually and political- 
ly, there is no place for him. 

This is our supreme advant- 
age, (p. 425) 

University of North Carolina 
— Helmut Kuhn 


January 23, 1947 

The Editor: 

Christian Frontiers. 

Dear Editor: 

Reading the Christian Frontiers 
during the past year has been 
keenly interesting to me. Some 
articles have been very fine and 
instructive, and some have been 
inaccurate and prejudiced. At 
least, so I see it. Your editorial 
on "C. F. and the Liberal Spirit" 
stirs me to make a few feeble 
comments. I intend them as 
kindly although they are frank- 
ly critical. 

Your first three paragraphs I 
commend with hearty "amen." 
I disagree heartily with the 
fourth. I think there is more 
general indifference to doctrinal 
tenets among Baptists now than 
there has been in a generation 
or more. 

But you have accused Bap- 
tists generally of idolatry. Every 
statement of Baptist position is- 
sued by any representative Bap- 
tist group (at least every one I 
have seen) places as a basic 
truth the teaching that the 
Scriptures are our only final 
authority in matters of religious 
faith. You say this is worship- 
ping a book and is idolatry. That 



is a serious and far-reaching 
charge. It labels sin, the fearful 
sin of idolatry, that fundamental 
principle on which every dis- 
tinctive Baptist doctrine must 
rest for its ultimate support. I 
think this charge is neither 
"liberal," fair, true, nor reason- 

I think you are most incon- 
sistent in listing as one source 
of authority "the accumulated 
wisdom of the church" and in 
the same editorial denouncing 
the use of creeds as "a denial of 
the soul's liberty." How else 
has the church stated her "ac- 
cumulated wisdom" more clear- 
ly and intelligently than in 

What single item concerning 
the knowledge of God has come 
to us through the "accumulated 
wisdom of the church" or 
through "individualized Christ- 
ian experience" which was not 
first revealed in the sacred 
Scriptures? I shall appreciate an 
answer to this question. 

The Christ I know is the One 
I find revealed in the Scriptures. 
If the things concerning Him 
recorded in the Scriptures are not 
reliable, then I have no knowl- 
edge of Him except that of my 
own experience. But if one 
should interpret his religious ex- 
perience in terms that do not 
agree with the Christ presented 
in the Book, he would not be 
justified in ascribing his expe- 
rience to the Christ of the Book. 
He should not call it "Christ" 
or "Christian." 

The Christ revealed in the 
New Testament accepted and re- 
peatedly emphasized the final 

authority of the Scriptures. 
"Thy word is truth," "The 
scripture cannot be broken," 
"one jot or one tittle shall in no 
wise pass from the law until all 
be fulfilled," "the scriptures 
must be fulfilled in me" (Lk. 22: 
37) "O foolish men, and slow of 
heart to believe all that the 
prophets have written." In many 
other such words Jesus empha- 
sized his own reverence for the 
Scriptures. Jesus did not accept 
as authoritative any "accumulat- 
ed wisdom" but particularly re- 
buked those who accepted the 
authority of tradition instead of 
the command of Scripture. (Mk. 
7: 6-8) Let us hear this word, 
"In vain do they worship me, 
teaching as doctrines the pre- 
cepts of men." 

I insist that inasmuch as any 
one rejects the authority of the 
Scriptures as his guide, in that 
much he rejects the example and 
the teaching of Jesus Christ. 

Your suggestion that believing 
the Scriptures as final authority 
is "denying God His rightful 
authority," it seems to me, has 
it just backward. If it were God, 
instead of the Editor, who had 
said that God chose to speak in 
the "accumulated wisdom of the 
church and the individualized 
Christian experience," then it 
would be idolatry to deny it. 
But since Jesus said about the 
opposite, surely if there is idol- 
atry it must be in another quar- 

Yours for more liberal and 
unprejudiced Christian think- 


Truett Cox 



Athens, Ga. (RNS) — For the 
first time in the history of the 
University of Georgia here 
courses in religion are being of- 
fered under a newly-established 
department of religion of the 
college of arts and sciences. 

Dr. B. Davie Napier, former 
chaplain at Alfred University, 
New York, is head of the depart- 
ment and also university chap- 


Washington, D. C. (RNS)— A 

new birth of spiritual religion, 
coupled with a revived leader- 
ship in the ministry, will be 
needed to cope with the prob- 
lems arising from "the one world 
now forming," Dr. J. M. Dawson, 
executive secretary of the Bap- 
tist Joint Conference Committee 
on Public Relations, declared 
here in a sermon on "How Chris- 
tianity Fared in 1946." 

Reviewing church activities 
during the year, Dr. Dawson said 
the overall picture was one of 
"mingled darkness and light." 

He said the churches had failed 
to solve such questions as the 
rising divorce rate, juvenile de- 
linquency and crime, venereal 
disease, and alcoholism. 

Moreover, he stated, there were 
deeply disturbing theological ten- 
sions in a number of major de- 
nominations, notably the Baptist, 
Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and 

Dr. Dawson also deplored the 
divided strategy of Protestants 
and Roman Catholics toward 
Russia which, he said, intensified 
the clamor for war in an hour 
when patience as well as firm- 
ness was needed to stabilize the 
United Nations for enduring 


Winston-Salem, N. C. (RNS)— 
Negro clergymen have stepped 
into the picture in connection 
with a laundry strike involving 
five plants here and are attempt- 
ing to get the strikers and laun- 
dry owners together in a con- 
ference designed to end the 

Pastors of local Negro church- 
es announced that "we consider 
the strikers' grievances are just 
and that their strike concerns all 
citizens of Winston-Salem, par- 
ticularly the Negro and organized 
labor." The clergymen said "the 
refusal of the laundry owners 
to meet with the strikers makes 
it imperative that steps be taken 
to effect a meeting of the strikers 
and laundry owners, with a view 
to settling the strike." 




Louisville, Ky. (RNS) — The 
one-man Boy's Town run in his 
own home on his own salary by 
the Rev. Edward J. Lee, Jr., Bap- 
tist minister, is growing up into 
a full-fledged institution pattern- 
ed after Father Flanagan's fam- 
ed community in Nebraska. 

The new project will be a $70,- 
000 institution on 12 acres near 
St. Matthews, a suburb on the 
eastern outskirts of Louisville, 
to house dependent children in 
this area. 

Known as Louisville Boys' 
Town, the home will be operated 
on a non-sectarian basis by the 
Long Run Association of Bap- 
tists, parent body of 73 Baptist 
congregations in the Louisville 
area. The property includes an 
11-room house, two cottages, a 
barn, tennis and basketball 
courts, and a swimming pool. Mr. 
Lee will be superintendent. 


Atlanta, Ga. — Representatives 
of 600 Baptist youth organiza- 
tions in Georgia have adopted a 
"minimum bill of rights" for 
Georgia's Negro citizens. 

Introduced before a meeting of 
the Royal Ambassadors, who rep- 
resent the youth groups, the 
measure calls for the right to 
vote, the right to equal educa- 
tion, the right to serve on juries 
when cases involve Negroes, 
equal pay for equal work, and 
the right to work when qualified. 

Adoption of the "bill of rights" 
at a time when the state general 
assembly was moving to enact 

"white supremacy" voting laws 
included in the late Gov.-Elect 
Eugene Talmadge's platform 
drew wide press comment. 

The "bill of rights" has been 
recommended to the home chap- 
ters of the youth groups. 


Staunton, Va. (RNS)— A sec- 
ond conscientious objector has 
resigned as a school teacher in 
Virginia under pressure from 
organized veterans' groups. 

Wayne S. Guthrie, a conscien- 
tious objector in World War II 
and a teacher in New Hope High 
School in Augusta county, re- 
signed after he and A. Crawford 
Gilkeson, division superintend- 
ent, had what Mr. Gilkeson de- 
scribed as a "frank discussion." 

Mr. Gilkeson said that follow- 
ing action by the Staunton- 
Augusta Post 2216, Veterans of 
Foreign Wars, protesting the 
employment of conscientious ob- 
jectors in public schools, he had 
"sounded out sentiment" in the 
county and had come to the con- 
clusion he should discuss the 
matter with Mr. Guthrie. 

Two weeks earlier, Evan Hol- 
lingsworth, conscientious objec- 
tor and teacher at Marion (Va.) 
High School, resigned after the 
county American Legion post 
passed a resolution calling on the 
school board to request his res- 
ignation. Mayor B. L. Dickinson, 
of Marion, resigned as chairman 
of the school board in protest 
against the board's acceptance 
of Hollingsworth's resignation. 


Christian Frontiers 




Louisville, Ky. — Baptist min- 
isters must exert leadership in 
three vital problems which will 
face Southern states in the fu- 
ture, the Rev. Dr. William W. 
Barnes, research professor of 
Baptist history at Southwestern 
Baptist Seminary, Fort Worth, 
Tex., said here. He spoke at 
Founders' Day exercises of 
Southern Baptist Theological 

The three problems he out- 
lined were the Southern labor 
movement, race relations, and 
mental and nervous illnesses. 

Suggesting a revamped theo- 
logical curriculum "with new in- 
tellectual emphasis," Dr. Barnes 

"As the intellectual level of 
Southern Baptist constituents 
has risen, training of ministers 
has received new impetus. Our 
seminary curriculum does not 
necessarily need new courses of 
study. It needs new interpreta- 
tion on the courses we now 

He suggested that theological 
curriculum revision be made to 
"emphasize religion as distin- 
guished from the forms of reli- 


Columbia, S. C. — Precedent was 
created here when the Protestant 
Episcopal diocese of Upper South 
Carolina voted at its 25th annual 
convention to seat eleven Ne- 
groes, representing eight local 

congregations. It was the first 
time that any Protestant denom- 
ination in South Carolina has 
conceded Negroes voting mem- 
bership in its ruling body. 

The two-day convention adopt- 
ed a resolution calling on the 
National Council of the Church 
to inaugurate "a more vigorous" 
program of evangelism. 


New York (RNS)— An advis- 
ory committee for cooperation 
with organized labor in the 
South has been set up by the 
Methodist Federation for Social 
Service, it was announced here. 

Committee members include 
lay and clergy representatives 
from Alabama, Texas, Missis- 
sippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Louis- 
iana, Oklahoma, and North 


Cleveland (RNS)— History was 
made at the 15th biennial meet- 
ing of the United Lutheran 
Church here when Mrs. Howard 
S. Bechtolt was seated as the first 
woman delegate. 

Mrs. Bechtolt, youthful looking 
grandmother from Chicago, said 
she did not want to precipitate 
"a battle of the sexes" at the 
convention, but felt it was time 
for "women to take a more active 
part in church affairs." 

Her main interest, she added, 
is in the Church's missionary 
program because "mission fields 
are what women are naturally 
interested in." 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 

Vol. II ~ APRIL, 1947 No. 4 


Das Kelley Barnett, Editor-in-Chief 
William W. Finlator, Associate Editor William M. Poteat, Book Editor 
Almonte C. Howell, Advisory Editor Marjorie E. Moore, Advisory Editor 

J. O. Bailey, Managing Editor Sara Lowrey, Poetry Editor 


W. O. Carver, Louisville, Ky. 
H. B. Cross, Nashville, Tenn. Swan Hayworth, Vicksburg, Miss. 

George B. Cutten, Chapel Hill, N. C. Withrow T. Holland, Haynesville, La. 

J. M. Dawson, Washington, D. C. Adjel j# MoNCR1EF> st . Josephi Mo . 

Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. 

^ tt t, ii7 u!-~+,> n r> n Blake Smith, Austin, Texas 

Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C 

J. C. Wilkinson, Athens, Georgia Hubert R. Howard, Jr., Tulsa, Okla. 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 
Fred B. Helms John McGinnis 

Carl Lee Ousley Warren Carr 

R. K. Redwine a - c - McCall 

Wilbur W. Hutchins 


Editorials 107 

Niemoeller's Parish Once and Now Helmut Kuhn 110 

The Spiritual and Economic Basis for 

Democracy in the South William Holmes Borders 114 

Can You Imagine? Mrs. L. E. M. Freeman 121 

The Problems of Youth Robert Ayers 123 

The Christ of Many Forms Henry Alford Porter 129 

Books 134 

News 136 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July and August) by the Baptist 
Book Club, a non-profit fellowship of ministers and laymen. Address all corres- 
pondence to Box 508, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 by the Baptist 
Book Club. Entered as second class matter February 6, 1947 at the post office at 
Chapel Hill, N. C. under the Act of March 3, 1879. Subscription price, two dollars 
a year; twenty-five cents a copy. Printed by The Graphic Press, Inc., Raleigh.N.C. 

Who's Who In This Issue 

HELMUT KUHN is a Professor of Philosophy at the 
University of North Carolina. He is personally acquainted 
with Niemoeller. Subscribers desiring to send food, clothing 
or money to members of Niemoeller's parish may do so 
through Christian Frontiers. 

WILLIAM HOLMES BORDERS is Pastor of the Wheat 
Street Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, and has been most 
active in the field of Christian ethics. 

MRS. L. E. M. FREEMAN lives in Raleigh, North Caro- 
lina. Her article, "Her Name Is Mary," appeared in the 
January issue of Christian Frontiers. 

ROBERT AYERS is state B.S.U. Secretary for South 
Carolina and is intimately acquainted with the problems of 

HENRY ALPORD PORTER for many years was one of 
the leading ministers of the Southern Baptist Convention. 
Dr. Porter died last fall. This is one of the last articles from 
his pen. 


The Supreme Court Must Reverse Itself 


'OVIES subjected to Roman Catholic censorship, 
newspapers pliant to the pressure of Roman Cath- 
olic banning, a United States' ambassador to the Vatican 
without Senate confirmation, and now public moneys to 
provide bus service for Catholic parochial schools! Lord, 
how long? A sleeping public has at last been roused by a 
Supreme Court ruling which represents a breach in the 
wall of separation of church and state. By a 5 to 4 vote the 
highest tribunal has ruled that public funds may be used 
to provide transportation of children to parochial schools. 
Here is a trend, long under way and supported by subtle 
propaganda of radio, press, and movie (and hierarchy), to 
circumvent our cherished First Amendment. Any amateur 
psychiatrist who has read the majority opinion written by 
Justice Black can detect sophistry and rationalization. Again 
and again this distinguished jurist eloquently professes 
devotion to the amendment, but the principle of the amend- 
ment, he reasons, does not apply in the small matter of 
taxing the public to get children to the schools of a sect 
that denounces public schools as godless. The close margin 
in voting, however, is hopeful with Justice Rutledge, son of 
a Baptist minister, and Justice Jackson writing forceful 
dissenting opinions. We will hear more of this unwise ruling 
as other communities take their lead from the Ewing Town- 
ship case. Meanwhile let us join lustily in the rising chorus 
of an outraged public against this blow to the greatest of 
our guaranteed liberties. The court has reversed itself on 
former occasions when its decisions have clearly misfired. It 
must do so again. 

Pastors and Belles-Lettres 

"N his eulogy of Dr. J. H. Rushbrooke, whose death 
Baptists everywhere lament, Dr. Louie D. Newton 
referred to "the rare scholarship and Christian culture in 



108 Christian Frontiers 

the radiant personality" of this leader who "spoke several 
languages fluently. ... His knowledge of history was amazing, 
and he held appreciation for 'the best that had been thought 
or said/ to employ Matthew Arnold's phrase, which marked 
him in any company as a man of extraordinary culture." 
Baptists are sometimes inclined to be apolegetic, or what is 
worse, defensive when the matter of culture among their 
leaders past and present is brought up in spite of our 
Broadus', our Rauschenbusches, our Mullins' and our Poteats. 
It is possible that because traditionally we have been a 
people's denomination we have not kept cultural pace with 
more fashionable denominations. The number is growing, 
however, of those who see in personalities enriched by the 
beauty, harmony, and nobility of art and literature tremend- 
ous advantages in interpreting the Bible, proclaiming the 
judgments of God to men, and understanding the deep 
recesses of motive and passion in the heart of man. 

In a lecture entitled "The Preacher and Culture," Profes- 
sor H. H. Farmer said: "One of the supreme marks of the 
great Christian soul — and how can one hope to grow in stat- 
ure as a preacher, if one is not growing all the time as a 
Christian?— is that he can face quite frankly and realistically 
all the muck and misery, the tragedy and heartbreak, the 
agony and frustration of human life and yet find his sensitiv- 
ity to high and holy things, his faith in their final victory- 
God's final victory— not only not impaired, but also growing 
stronger. A mature and strong Christian soul is at once 
ruthlessly frank and sincere in facing evil and corruption, 
and yet at the same time most sensitively responsive to what 
is good. . . . [Great literature] is one way in which we may 
cultivate what Whitehead has called 'the habitual vision of 
greatness,' without, however, any loss of real contact with 
life. For it is surely one of the distinguishing marks of 
great literature that it keeps you in touch with the realities 
of human existence and yet at the same time renews and 
nourishes and develops whatever sensitivity he may have 
to the great and mysterious possibilities and actualities of 
truth and beauty and goodness which somehow overshadow 
and interpenetrate it all." 


Imperium In Imperio 

i APTISTS from all over the world will meet in Copen- 
> hagen this summer. Representatives of some 12 to 
15 million devotees to liberty, the Bible, and the faith de- 
livered unto the saints will gather to re-affirm the ancient 
and time-tested tenets of this faith and to draw strength 
from "alliance." They will come from lands where a state 
church is officially supported and dissenting sects are only 
tolerated, if not persecuted; from lands where freedom for 
all sects is guaranteed by law and no sect is favored; from 
lands where all institutional religion is held in scorn; from 
lands yet bleeding, and lands spared the horrors of war. 

Never has the world needed more to hear the "distinc- 
tives" to which this alliance will give pronouncement. Abso- 
lute freedom of conscience in worship, absolute respect for 
the right of others to believe differently, absolute separation 
of church and state, the competence of each individual soul 
for God, non-sacrementalism, non-clericalism — these and 
other principles of the faith have been and still are under 
attack and must be forever defended and proclaimed. 

Nevertheless the convocation at this time of such a group 
of like faith and order raises a qualm in the mind. It is a 
time when a world-organization of nations with vastly differ- 
ent political and economic creeds is struggling desperately 
to live. It is a time when most of the historic branches of 
Protestantism are moving toward a deeper fellowship, and 
the World Council of Churches, which will include the ancient 
Greek Orthodox Church, is striving to be a dynamic reality. 
Everywhere the old order is changing, and men are thinking 
politically, economically, socially, and (except Roman Catho- 
lics) ecclesiastically of "one world." If Baptists who gather 
in Copenhagen assert a sectarian spirit, if their pronounce- 
ments decry the ecumenical or church federation movements, 
if in an isolationist spirit the tremendous effort of Christen- 
dom to realize the "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" inherent 
in our gospel is simply ignored, then here is an empire within 
an empire. To put it in language we can all understand, it 
will be like a Norris-inspired convention meeting in the same 
city with a Southern Baptist Convention. 


Niemoeller's Parish Once And Now 

Helmut Kuhn 


npHE PARISH of Dahlem has two churches. In one of 
A them the parishioners take pride, and they are fond 
of the other one. The Jesus Christ Church, the first of the two, 
is a trim modern brick building, set in the middle of a little 
park. Its older sister, the Chapel of St. Ann, boasts no such 
proud setting. It almost disappears behind a gray stone wall 
and the mounds and memorial tablets of the graves which 
huddle around it. But with the ivy that now screens its sides, 
the affection of the church people has grown upon the humble 

If Pastor Martin Niemoeller, once rector of Dahlem, could 
now return to his old parish, he would find his two churches 
standing, though marked by the war. Christ Church has been 
badly hit and is out of use. St. Ann, the beloved village 
church, has lost the top of its steeple, the picture of the Virgin 
Mary has disappeared from its choir, but the church still 
serves. The scars of war are even more conspicuous in the 
village itself, which is actually a suburb of Berlin. But more 
fortunate than other districts of Berlin, it has escaped the 
utter destruction which has been visited upon the vast ma- 
jority of German cities. 

The devastation of war, though less visible in Dahlem 
than elsewhere in Berlin, is nonetheless as terrifying here as 
it is all through Germany. The real devastation is in the 
minds of men. They have gone through the protracted horror 
of war and the inferno of air-raids. Their sons have been kill- 
ed in action or are still languishing in French and Russian 
prison camps. They have suffered the brief but acute horror 
of Russian occupation, which meant pillage and rapine, and 
they are now prevented from enjoying the safety granted 
them under American occupation by the bleak hopelessness 
of their situation. With the exception of the communists 
among them the people of Berlin have a feeling as though 
they were stationed on the bridgehead which a retreating 
army has left in its rear. And they are cold, and most of the 


Niemoeller's Parish Once and Now HI 

time hungry. Half of the children can not go to school be- 
cause they have no shoes, and the other half shiver in cold 
and overcrowded school rooms. 

This pitiful story, however, does not tell the whole truth 
about Dahlem. In the minds of its citizens a hope and a faith 
have been kindled which the war and its aftermath were un- 
able to extinguish. Dahlem, we remember, has been the battle- 
field on which Hitler suffered his first defeat. Since National 
Socialism was a philosophy even before it became a military 
power, this first defeat may still prove the final one. 


In the fall of the year 1933 the people of Dahlem had a 
surprise. In the past they had just been able to fill the seats 
in St. Ann for Sunday morning service, but the larger Christ 
Church used to be half empty. Now they had to get up in time 
to find a place. People from all over Berlin, and soon from 
all over the country, crowded the aisle and beleaguered the 
doors. Extra buses and subway trains were needed to bring 
v/orshippers to Dahlem. One might well wonder what all the 
hubbub was about. 

The simple fact was that in the churches of Dahlem Pastor 
Niemoeller and his associates preached the gospel. They did 
what every minister of the Word is expected to do, neither 
more nor less. But to do this simple thing at this moment 
meant to challenge the awful might of Hitler's Third Reich. 
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and 
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." Preaching the first 
and greatest commandment was a challenge to Hitler who 
called himself Fuehrer and demanded fanatical adherence. 

"Love thy neighbor as thyself." Preaching brotherly love 
was a provocation to the Nazi system, which included per- 
secution and torture as an essential part of both its doctrine 
and its practice. 

"Thou shalt not lie." Preaching truthfulness was a direct 
attack on the system of expedient deceptions which Nazi 
propaganda had built up. So we might go through a long list 
of Christian affirmations, and we would find that every one 
of them is a thrust at Nazi philosophy. There can be no peace 
between the believers in Christ who suffered death on the 

112 Christian Frontiers 

Cross to save sinners, and the believers in Hitler, the self- 
proclaimed lord of the nordic super-race. 

Even where peace is impossible, appeasers will abound. 
This was true also of the church under Hitler. The appeasers 
discovered a safe way in which the Christian message might 
be preached and yet give no offense to the Gestapo. Their 
method consisted in preaching God without submission to 
God's will, love without passionate self-surrender, and truth- 
fulness with a lying mouth. The Christian doctrine, they 
found, can be almost completely expressed in comfortable 
generalities. The one little omission which they had to make 
was this: never a word was to be breathed about the Word of 
God applying to this actual world, to the real man, living 
now and here, child of God and subject of Hitler. The gospel 
had to be preached as though the soul of man had no dealings 
with his body, nor, in fact, with the larger portion of his mind. 
Niemoeller, like many others, was not willing to make a 
harmless thing out of the Word of God. He did not forget 
that God who is love is also a consuming fire. He never 
preached political sermons, but he dared to preach Christian 
sermons. Therefore every word of his was a verdict upon the 
political world into which it was preached — a world of meth- 
odical violence and pregnant with war. This is why worship- 
pers, believers, and also curious people, poured into Niemoel- 
ler's church. While the great lie of the Hitler myth closed 
down upon Germany, Niemoeller continued to speak the 
truth. This was the sensation of 1934. 

Those who were with Niemoeller in the following three 
years of church struggle will never forget the man and his 
high courage. The members of the "Confessional Church" 
(this was the name of the association of those who repudiated 
appeasement) met every week in the parish house of Dahlem. 
Niemoeller spoke, interpreting the Bible and reporting on the 
progress of the struggle. There was no trace of defiance in his 
attitude, nothing of the heroic manner of Luther's, "Here I 
stand, I cannot do otherwise ..." He rather spoke in the 
voice of one who, when roll is called, answers to his name. 
The hearers knew that at any moment officers of the Gestapo 
might burst into the room to arrest Niemoeller. The arrest 

Niemoeller's Parish Once and Now 113 

came in 1937. With it Niemoeller's martyrdom began — eight 
years of internment in various prisons and concentration 
camps, a considerable part of this time spent in solitary con- 


Like the rest of Germany, Dahlem is now a place of misery. 
The hopes with which the Americans were hailed when they 
moved in to replace the Russians have died there as else- 
where under the crushing effects of the policy dictated by the 
Potsdam Agreement. But the misery is not total. The people 
of Dahlem, it seems, have not forgotten that they are Niemoel- 
ler's parish. They are not hopeless, not "without God in the 

One of the oldest members of the Dahlem community 
wrote in a recent letter to a friend in America: "We who 
condemned Nazidom had to pass through great trials, and it 
was relief when at last the system of falsehood and fraud 
broke down. But the consequences are horribly cruel. There 
are things which grow under the pressure of suffering. So 
the congregation of Dahlem has incredibly increased in 
strength, and it is now a closely knit community. For once 
affliction has taught people to pray. The leading men are, of 
course, Professor Bartnong, the painter, and above all Pastor 
Dehnstaedt, a man of 35 years. He is endowed with a rare 
gift of preaching. Like Donatello's St. John the youthful 
figure stands in the pulpit, declaring the Word of God and 
preaching faith. For seven years a daily "'morning watch' 
has been held in the Chapel of St. Ann. If no minister is at 
hand, a lay member speaks . . . ." 

If there should be a rebirth after the physical and moral 
devastation of war, the people of Dahlem may take pride in 
having saved and sheltered a seed of life. They have done, 
and are still doing, what the Apostle enjoins: "redeeming the 
time, because the days are evil." Wherever Christ's name is 
confessed, they deserve to be remembered among His wit- 
nessing communities. 

The Spiritual and Economic Basis for 
Democracy in the South 

William Holmes Borders 

W/'E Southerners are not always willing to admit the 
Vv truth about our section. Moreover, some attempt 
to ease our evils by pointing to similar defects elsewhere. 
With reference to the first, truth is never conditioned by 
willingness whether for or against. In the second case, to 
point out a weakness in another in an effort to hide one's 
own, cures neither. 

The South has three major problems: poverty, ignorance, 
and disease. The national salary income in 1939 averaged 
$885.00. Not a single Southern state was up to the national 
average. South Carolina had an average of $481; Georgia, 
$461, and Mississippi, $389.' The richest state in the South 
ranks lower in per capita income than the poorest state out- 
side the region. 2 

Eighty-five per cent of the wealth of the nation is owned 
by fifteen per cent of the people. The Northeast, one-fifth of 
the territory, owns four-fifths of the wealth. This means that 
the major portion of our wealth is concentrated in a relatively 
few hands in a relatively small area, and no Southern state 
is in this area. 

The average Southern farmer grossed $186 a year as com- 
pared to $528 a year for farmers elsewhere. Share croppers 
received as low as 100 a day up to 30^. 3 Industrially, common 
labor earned approximately 16^ an hour less. The average 
industrial wage in the South was $865; in other states, $1219. 4 
These are 1937 figures. Changes have occurred but more than 
likely proportionately. The South is relatively poor. 

It is also relatively Ignorant. In 1942, the national aver- 
age spent per child in elementary and secondary schools was 
$98.31. Not a single Southern state met that standard. The 
South's average was $54.54. The annual salary of teachers in 

i Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1944-45, Department of Commerce, 
Henry A. Wallace, Secretary of Commerce, p. 411. 

2 Report on Economic Conditions of the South, p. 21, prepared for the Pres- 
ident by the National Emergency Council. 

3 Ibid., pp. 26, 27. 

4 Ibid., p. 17. 


The Spiritual and Economic Basis 115 

Arkansas in 1933-34 was $465, compared to $2361 in New 
York State the same year. Overcrowding of schools and too 
many pupils per teacher are more prevalent in the South. 

In higher education, there is also a lag. Two schools in 
the Northeast, Harvard and Yale, have larger endowments 
than all the institutions of higher learning in thirteen Sou- 
thern states put together. More ignorance is to be expected in 
the South. 

These facts do not deny that some of our best trained 
people were born and still live in the South. Neither does it 
deny that many people untrained systematically do solid and 
constructive thinking. Since schools are the main channels 
through which knowledge flows, and since Southern schools 
lag behind the national standard and illiteracy is higher in 
the South, we are driven to the conclusion that the South is 
relatively ignorant. 

A third major defect of the South is disease. In the South 
people suffer more, receive less hospital care, and die faster. 
The South does not produce enough doctors for herself. With 
more ignorance and poverty, there is of necessity more dis- 
ease. It is one thing to state a problem. It is more difficult to 
point out its solution. The first possible solution is political. 
If politicians were wide awake in the South, they could break 
the bonds of political slavery in twenty-five years. The South 
has voted in a block since the Civil War. No Democratic 
candidate for the presidency comes South to campaign, for 
he knows he has it "in the bag" the minute he runs behind 
a Democratic label. No Republican candidate ever comes 
either, because he knows that it had been decided before 
most Southerners were born that they would vote for a cat 
on a Democratic ticket. The result is that the South gets the 
leavings of both parties. The South would be helped by a 
two-party system. 

Southern government could also do a great deal toward 
developing the many natural resources of the South. Having 
much more than its share of such resources, it could do its 
own processing, avoid an expensive freight rate, and allow 
the fat of the land to serve more richly the people who live 
upon it. In publicly supported schools, more should be taught 
the masses about economic geography, simple agriculture, 

116 Christian Frontiers 

rotation of crops, forestry, soil salvation from erosion, decent 
civics, and investments, according to Southern needs. These 
are some of the things which might be further done through 
politics to help our section. 

Consider our behavior in the light of other historical 
events. Between 1200 and 1250, the Catholic Church was at 
the height of its political and temporal power. There were 
two main evils, the denial of the freedom of conscience, and 
corruption in the church. Effort was made to correct these. 
The cry of heretics was made against the correctors. The 
Inquisition, killing hundreds of choice people, became the 
tool of the church to protect the evils. 

These persecutions offered short-range advantages to the 
church and state. They were used as a political front; prop- 
erty of the victims was confiscated; hate against heretics dis- 
tracted attention from the real issues. 

In the sixteenth century the Edict of Nantes guaranteed 
full civil rights to Protestants, just as the Constitution guar- 
antees full rights to the Negro. But the Hugenots were per- 
secuted. Four hundred thousand were slaughtered. For 
political purposes, Louis XIV of France carried on an exten- 
sive campaign against the Huguenots in the name of religion. 
Shifting from religious history to present-day politics, 
Hitler cut goods, lowered wages, and lengthened hours. To 
get what he had done out of the limelight he claimed the 
Jews were the cause, stirred up hate against them, and had 
them chased and butchered by the hundreds of thousands. 
In these cases, the main issues were covered by some super- 
ficial external. 

The same kind of thing is happening in the South. Most 
politicians in the South who use race do so distastefully. No 
man chooses his race. It is nothing to brag about nor apologize 
for. When the Negro is denied his rights by the Talmadge 
forces in Georgia, the politician gets the office, the rich get 
richer and pay less taxes, the ignorant whites get a sense of 
satisfaction, and Negroes get persecuted. The South lags in 
delinquency. The South will never be able to run with one 
side paralyzed. 

Another course of help lies in organization of labor. For 
the most part, capitalists recognize very little in the world 

The Spikitual and Economic Basis 117 

apart from power. Most politicians, like young Talmadge, 
will cut across the rights of the people, and jump through a 
loophole to get power. Most financiers will have shrewd law- 
yers inject clauses into contracts which give them unfair 
financial advantages. Even world statesmen play a game of 
power politics. Power is the only language they understand. 
The power of capital will not listen to labor unless it has the 
power of organization. 

The stronger labor gets the more capable it will be of de- 
fending its position. A boy in school did not hang his cap on 
the rack. He had it on his desk. The teacher said, ''James, I 
have told you repeatedly to hang your cap on the rack in the 
hall. I am tired of reminding you. I am sending you to the 
principal to be reprimanded. Go to the office and see him." 
As the boy crept unwillingly, like a snail, out of the room, 
the teacher picked up her buzzer, called the principal's office, 
"I am sending a boy to the office for punishment. I have told 
him repeatedly about hanging his cap on the rack in the 

On the other end: "Oh, yes, yes." Soon the boy came in. 
The principal got out his strap, went over, looked at him, and 
asked, "Sonny, what am I going to whip you for?" 

The boy looked up and answered, "'Cause you are bigger 
than me." 

The principal replied, "Son, I am afraid you are right." 

Why does capital whip labor? 'Cause capital has more 

When will it stop? When labor becomes of age. About 
three years ago I was talking to Hank Smith. He weighs 
about three hundred pounds and rocks when he talks and 
more when he walks. "Reverend, you know folks don't raise 
children like they used to. I was born in the country. My papa 
used to whip me something awful." 

"About what?" 

"About anything he told me not to do. He whipped me 
until I was nearly grown. One day he caught my head in 
between his legs. I was big and strong, 'bout nineteen. I was 
grown and he didn't know it. I lifted him right up on my 

"What did he do?" 

118 Christian Frontiers 

"He was just up there wiggling until I put him down. 
He never did whip me no more." 

By strength of organization, labor must convince capital 
that it is full grown. I certainly do not intend to imply that 
labor is all right and capital is all wrong. There are imper- 
fections and imperfect people on both sides. If labor becomes 
unscrupulous and selfish, it will be just as evil as capital, 
guilty of the same things. There is not as much danger at 
present of labor becoming poisoned with the same disease as 
capital, as there is danger of labor not growing sufficiently 
strong through organization to demand its rights. 

At what points, apart from organization, may labor look 
for help? Religion, at its highest and best, is obligated in its 
nature to aid all people, especially those in need. The more 
urgent the need the more religion is obligated. 

The two cardinals of the Christian religion which must 
come to the aid of labor are brotherhood and the supremacy 
of personality. Brotherhood is a scientific fact by test of skull, 
brain, body, blood, height, shape, bone. Brotherhood is a 
historical fact from records of culture and the crossroads of 
civilization. Brotherhood is a fact in terms of achievements. 
Areas of knowledge have corroborated the declaration of the 
Bible: "Prom one blood all the nations of the earth come." 

Jesus taught and lived "Brother" within and across racial 
lines. Whoever was in need got Jesus' help. A beggar, a blind 
man, a leper, a mourner, a diseased outcast, or a wayward 
traveler. On the Jericho road the man who fell among thieves 
was not the magistrate of the city, an aristocrat, a capitalist, 
but a certain man. The man who helped him was not a Phar- 
isee, Sadducee, Zealot, or a Herodian. He was a Samaritan. 

Jesus taught by example as well. When He sat on Jacob's 
well and the Samaritan woman came, it would have been 
good to have remained silent. Difference of race said, "Keep 
silent." Difference of background said, "Attend to your busi- 
ness." Five hundred years of history said, "Don't part your 
lips." The woman's attitude said, "Don't even say 'Good morn- 
ing'." Meanness said, "Shut up; she'll claim you are picking a 
fuss with her." 

Jesus did not heed the voices of racial difference, five 
hundred years of animosity, and meanness. Neither did He 

The Spiritual and Economic Basis 119 

allow the negative attitude of the woman to dampen. He took 
higher ground. To Jesus she was not a thing of contempt, but 
a precious soul loved and honored by God. My Bible asks the 
all-important and eternal question, "How can a man love 
God whom he has never seen and hate his brother whom he 
sees daily?" With a finger of love Jesus touched her heart. 
"You came for water but you really need the fire of religion 
to purge your heart of prejudice against Jews, and Jews need 
the torch of religion to burn hate from their souls. Because 
Jacob, your grandfather, dug the well, you have no monopoly 
on the water. Water is for all who thirst. More important 
than a well digger is God. Further, God's good earth, air, 
space, water and fruits of the earth are put here for all of 
God's children. This is the first word in creation and the last 
word from eternity." 

Any violation of the tenet so strongly taught and lived by 
Jesus must be condemned by religion. If war, politics or 
capital in the hands of some butcher others, religion must 
not only stand guard but enter actively in the fight against 
it. If capital proposes to glut up the world like a hog while 
labor suffers, while the children of labor go undernourished, 
naked, barefooted, and ignorant, religion is obligated in its 
nature to rise with power and authority to defend the poor 
and exploited. 

The second principle, the Supremacy of personality, also 
comes to the aid of organized labor. For Jesus, people were 
more important than all else. Once when going through the 
cornfield on the Sabbath, the disciples were hungry. Jesus 
plucked and gave the disciples to eat. He was severely crit- 
icized. His reply was the Sabbath was made for man and not 
man for the Sabbath. Again, Jesus healed on the Sabbath, 
claiming it is right to do good on any day. 

Some white people will buy a car a block long, pay five 
hundred dollars for a dog to sit in the back; run over a Negro 
carrying a load on his back; stop long enough to get out and 
curse him for not getting out of the way and for knocking 
the paint off the fender; and get back into the car and leave 
him to pull himself together. 

Some Negroes must eat with white folks or die. I am not 
as much concerned about eating with white folks as I am 

120 Christian Frontiers 

about having something for all of us to eat. I want to eat at 
the welcome table. I also want the welcome table to have 
something on it to eat. 

Some capitalists, with millions stacked away, will grind 
the faces of thousands, cause babies to tug at empty breasts, 
cut school terms short, deny women rest periods, cut vaca- 
tions, steal pensions, poison the public mind by disseminating 
propaganda, and bribe politicians that they might make more 
money, while human life about them shrivels and dies. 

What is it worth to have a dozen billion-dollar corpora- 
tions or a hundred thousand millionaires with millions of our 
people starving, destitute, penniless, hopeless and helpless? 
What does it matter with God if the stocks and bonds are high 
and share croppers make ten cents a day? 

Finally, the prophetic in religion must wake up and live. 
Any person who thinks he can preach and can't inspire is 
done before he starts. Religion without intelligence will roam 
in the dark. Religion without fire will freeze in coldness. We 
need both. Some are short on facts and long on fire. Some are 
long on fire and short on facts. Some are short on both. The 
kind of prophetic I have in mind is not blind enthusiasm but 
an intelligent, courageous, righteous, powerful position which 
compels men. Several years ago I went to a convention and 
met many men. Standing upon a red clay embankment I saw 
a preacher whom I had met. I climbed up. "Hey, preacher." 

"Hello, Doc." 

"Do you live in Hawkinsville?" 

"Yes, I live right here." 

"Where is your church?" 

"I got six churches." 

"Six churches?" 

"Yeah, man." 

"How do you manage that? There are just four Sundays." 

"Well, I tell you, I carries the spirit wit' me when I goes 
and they just waits 'til I come." 

This man knew nothing about "higher criticism." Per- 
haps he would be better off if he did. It is perhaps equally 
true that some higher critics would be better off if they had 
his fire. 

Can You Imagine? 

Mrs. L. E. M. Freeman 

FITTING there in your easy chair will you lose your- 
O self in your imagination for just four minutes? Shut 
your eyes, and shut out the world. 

Use one minute to think about your home, your family, 
your work. Your home is comfortable, pretty, adequate for 
the needs of your family and friends. Your yard is pretty 
and large enough for the children to play safely. You are in 
a nice neighborhood. You don't mean to boast, but distin- 
guished visitors go down your street when they are given 
the keys to the city. Your family?— It is all you could hope 
for. You are secure in your love for each other. The future 
beckons with hope and gladness. You have had adequate 
training for your life's work, and you feel that you have a 
contribution to make to society. "The lines have fallen unto 
you in pleasant places," and you are grateful. Some of that 
good fortune is the result of your own efforts. Some is — shall 
we say, chance? 

Let's suppose: The color of your skin has changed. You 
are no longer a white person, but a Negro. Why, your home 
has changed! A railroad is nearby, soot makes your house 
a dirty gray, and some of it has seeped through the windows 
and smudged the curtains. The yard is small and covered 
with ashes. Nothing can grow there. Your street has suddenly 
become narrow and muddy; the sidewalk is broken and un- 
even. No distinguished visitor would even be shown this 
street! You realize that this section of town is notorious for 
the things it does not have, street lights, police protection, 
clean streets, plumbing, a minimum of nuisances, and a 
maximum of comfort. 

But surely with your education and recognized integrity 
nothing can hurt your inner self. Your brother is coming 
home from the army at long last. Your wife, being first of all 
a woman, wants everything in top-notch condition for his 
homecoming. After these years of making old things do, she 
must have some new things for the house and some new 
clothes for all. Being accustomed to going to good shops, 


122 Christian Frontiers 

naturally she goes to them now. I saw her in the shoe de- 
partment of a store early that morning as she started on her 
shopping spree. She was there before I was. The seats faced 
so that I did not see her after I sat down. After a long time 
I was waited on, and as I stood up to pay for my purchase, 
I saw her still sitting there. I said to the clerk, "The woman 
over in the corner should have been served before I was be- 
cause she was here when I came in." 

He glanced in her direction. "Oh, we won't wait on her. 
She can buy shoes here, but she can't try them on or bring 
them back." 

I said, "If it is a matter of cleanliness — " 

"It is the policy of the store." And there your wife sat 
and sat, waiting for service that would not be given, or even 
for an explanation. Who could bring himself to tell her she 
couldn't be waited on? 

Your children are in school, and plan to go to college, of 
course. After college, what? The demand for Negro teachers 
is about met. Your college-graduate daughter may run an 
elevator, and your college trained son may be a janitor. One 
wants to be a doctor. Where can he go for training? The 
children are still little: they feel loved, wanted, and secure. 
Tell me, how and when are you going to teach them that 
society doesn't want them, that they are inferior, and must 
always give the impression of being "humble"? Suppose, 
when they grow up they have to fight for democracy. How 
will you teach them that it is right for them to fight that 
others may be free, but not expect it for themselves? Can 
you at the same time teach them not to be bitter? 

With your mind and heart confused, you turn to the 
house of God. You always find peace there. Forgetting your 
color you go to your seat. When you sit down you are 
conscious of stares, of skirts being tucked a little closer, of 
the movement of people who suddenly find it desirable to 
move a little nearer the other end of the pew; and somehow 
you are conscious of a thought hanging in the air: "Doesn't 
he know his place is in the balcony?" Not even in the house 
of God are you received as a human being, and a brother. 

Your four minutes are gone. Wake up! 

Two thousand years are gone. Wake up! 

The Problems of Youth 

Robert Ayer's 

TN AN ARTICLE in the Baptist Courier entitled, "Don't 
J- Blame the Kids," Dr. W. C. Langston says, "Our chil- 
dren are but reflections of ourselves. If we do not like the 
looks of the image, we should examine the original and not 
blame the mirror." The miracle is that in spite of the prob- 
lems and difficulties we make for them, so many of our youth 
actually become mature Christian men and women. Let us 
look at some of these difficulties under which youth must 

First, let us look at our culture and attempt to analyze 
some that it places in the way of youth. Then we shall look 
at some specific institutions to determine whether or not 
they are meeting the needs of youth. 

I. Anyone who takes a realistic view of our culture can 
hardly say that it is conducive to the best development. 
Youth faces a delinquent society and a delinquent culture. 
Our society is based on the principle of self-interest, and our 
culture is a product of our egocentric society. 

There are in our culture certain patterns of thought which, 
once a youth is under their control, destroy his soul.' These 
patterns of thought may be outlined as follows: 

One is a tendency to live in the immediate. In many of 
the movies, novels, and plays of today the basic assumption 
is that present satisfactions are all-important. Pew people 
seek any other point of reference by which to make judg- 
ments. They simply do what promises best results at the 
moment. They make no attempt to determine how this act 
will contribute to any ultimate purpose, for they have no 
ultimate purpose. There is little vision past the present. But 
one cannot live adequately in time unless he has a grasp 
upon eternity. 

Another pattern of thought is the philosophy that happi- 
ness is a total of pleasures. Our age is running itself to death 
in pursuit of pleasures. How wrong! Happiness is not a total 
of pleasures. A pleasure is the result of satisfying an appetite. 

i For some of these suggestions I am indebted to Dr. Roy Burkhart's Under- 
standing Youth. 


124 Christian Frontiers 

But an appetite can be so overindulged that it will enslave. 
Happiness rather is the harmony that comes from the inte- 
gration of all the desires, dreams, and hopes of one's life. 

A third pattern is the assumption that sex attraction is 
love and that romantic love will solve all problems. Popular 
movies and novels of today are based largely on this false 
assumption. No one will deny that romantic love is a great 
element in an enduring marriage. It is my conviction, how- 
ever, that the alarming ratio of one out of every three mar- 
riages ending in the divorce courts is caused by the lack of 
practical knowledge, adjusted habit systems, and spiritual 

A fourth pattern is a too-optimistic view of the nature of 
man. Modern man is suffering from a complacent conscience. 
In spite of the fact that contemporary history is filled with 
manifestations of man's hysterias and furies, it does not seem 
to disturb his good opinion of himself. Reinhold Neibuhr in 
Vol. I of his Nature and Destiny of Man declares, "He [mod- 
ern man] considers himself the victim of corrupting institu- 
tions which he is about to destroy or reconstruct, or of the 
confusions of ignorance which an adequate education is about 
to overcome. Yet he continues to regard himself as essentially 
harmless and virtuous." Modern man has ceased to consider 
himself a sinner dependent upon God's grace. One social 
scientist dismisses sin as a "psychopathic aspect of adolescent 
mentality." One school of thought naively assumes that the 
only trouble with man is that his reason hasn't completely 
subjugated his primitive nature; another that he has gotten 
too tangled up in his reason and ought to permit his primitive 
nature more expression; and still another that he just hasn't 
extended the scientific method far enough into all areas of 
life, The eyes of these scientists are not opened by the Christ- 
ian revelation that the basic danger to man, as well as his 
loftiest possibilities, lies in his free will. They do not see that 
because man abuses his freedom, overestimates his power and 
significance, elevates himself to a position of equality with 
God while denying and disobeying God, he is a sinner. 

The naivete of modern thought about man is epitomized 
in the philosophy of Professor John Dewey of Columbia 
University. Perhaps more than any other single man, he has 

The Problems of Youth 125 

influenced the thinking of America, especially in the field of 
education. His theory is that our problems would be solved 
by a freed intelligence that would work over despotic institu- 
tions which represent relationships fixed in a pre-scientific 
age. He has a touching faith in the ability of the scientific 
method alone to achieve in the field of social relationships. 

What Professor Dewey and thousands of his followers 
fail to see is that neither science nor the scientific method 
can make one either good or bad. Margaret Slattery once told 
of a poor crippled boy who became the concern of several 
wealthy men. They paid thousands of dollars, and many 
operations were performed on the lad. Then came the day 
when the casts were removed and all of them were present 
to watch the lad take his first steps. Miss Slattery said she 
wished the story could end there, but it could not. Where is 
that boy today? He is in a state penitentiary. And Miss Slat- 
tery concluded, "Science can make a boy walk, but it can't 
teach him how or where to walk." Exactly so. There are many 
things that science and the scientific method can't do for us. 
No amount of scientific method can bring us goodness, or 
show us love, or reveal to us God. 

No, the trouble with man lies not in his lack of the scien- 
tific method but in his lack of transformation; not in his lack 
of intelligence, but in his lack of goodness; not in his lack of 
plans, but in his lack of God. Man's basic trouble is his sin. 
Until modern man awakens from his slumber of contentment 
with himself, faces frankly the bitter fact that he is a sinner, 
and humbly depends upon God's grace mediated through 
Jesus Christ, there can be no progress toward the solution 
of the over-powering problems besetting us. 

These false conceptions, then, are the patterns of thought 
working in our present world into which young people have 
come and within which they are in the process of becoming 
the persons they will be in their generation. 

II. Not only is youth today facing a generally delinquent 
culture, but he is also limited by institutions delinquent in 
meeting his needs. 

One of the foremost of his difficulties is a delinquent sys- 
tem of education. Its policies are completely in the hands 
of adults who, by and large, attempt to mold him into the 

126 Christian Frontiers 

patterns of their own generation. Our educational methods 
are still primarily pigeon-feeding. "Many teachers hand over 
ready-made ideas. They are merchants of facts." The student 
is expected to hand them back as the teacher gives them out. 
Not only is he rewarded not to think, but he is often penalized 
if he does. 

What is the result of this pigeon-feeding type of educa- 
tion? Simply this — that when a student finishes high school 
and college, he comes out with fragments of facts and seg- 
ments of knowledge, but with no central philosophy or 
purpose in life. These differing facts have not been gathered 
around a central purpose so that life has continuous meaning. 
Frankly, I am not so greatly concerned about how many 
facts my child knows when she finishes school, as I am about 
what she loves, what she purposes, what she is. The almost 
completely secularized education of our day will give her 
little to love, no worthy goal to strive for, and few aids to 
her character development. 

One of the greatest evils of our day is a system of educa- 
tion in this professedly Christian country that allows citizens 
of the future to have a heathen upbringing. The fact is that 
if you sent your child to a mission school in the heart of 
India, or the forest of Africa, he would have a much better 
chance of understanding Christianity, or really accepting 
Christ and being instilled with the Christian spirit, than if 
you sent him to a school in the next street. Unless something 
is done and done immediately to counteract the secularism 
and often outright antagonism of education to religion, there 
is the grave possibility that our country wil become in an- 
other three or four generations almost completely pagan. 

Another delinquent institution which burdens youth with 
problems is the home. The home as a modern institution is 
pathetic. Here can be seen the great blight of that pattern of 
thought operative in our society that romantic love solves 
all problems. There is no real preparation for home life. Soon 
there are children, born to parents not prepared to bring them 
up. Why is it that most people seem to assume that they will 
automatically be the right kind of parents? The terrible truth 
is rather that many parents are "blighted trees." They know 
little about the laws that underlie personality growth or emo- 

The Problems of Youth 127 

tional maturing. They are either caught in the meshes of a 
shallow social life which leaves them little time for their 
children, or they are the bewildered victims of a social order 
so barbarous that both parents must work to provide the bare 
necessities of life. In either case, the children are left to shift 
for themselves and are denied that love and gentle guidance 
that each growing child desperately needs. 

Is it any wonder then that in an intensive study that Dr. 
Burkhart made of 153 high school students, he found that 
only 27 were happy in their relationship with their parents? 
The significant thing about the 27 who were happy is that 
they shared in an average of at least seven types of activities 
together with their parents. 

If each child is to be provided with the best possible con- 
ditions for development of character, there must be in the 
home a fellowship of mutual love, understanding, and equal- 
ity of status. He should be brought as early as possible to feel 
the protection of this fellowship for him and his responsibility 
to the family group. But beyond that he must come to feel 
that this fellowship of the family is an integral part of that 
larger fellowship with God and the Christian body. 

Another institution often delinquent in its relationship 
to youth is the church. At some point or other in our program 
we must be failing our youth, for it is common knowledge 
that after the junior age, attendance of youth at church be- 
gins to decline. Why is this true? 

For one thing, our teaching has often failed to meet the 
needs and to attract the interest of youth. It has not been 
life-centered. We teach the Bible, we reply, and to be sure 
that's what we ought to teach. When we say that teaching 
ought to be life-centered, that is not to quarrel with teaching 
the Bible. It is an objection rather to our method of teaching. 
It is to say that the best method of Bible teaching comes not 
through beginning with a passage of Scripture, giving its 
exegesis, and then tagging on an application, but rather 
through using the same method Jesus used throughout his 
lifetime, starting with people where they are. Jesus always 
began with people. We will have the best results when we, 
too, begin with their problems, then show how God's eternal 
truths revealed in His Holy Book apply to these problems. 

128 Christian Frontiers 

Not only must our teaching be more life-centered, but 
also our preaching. Too often our preaching resembles the 
flight of the humming bird: it never lights anywhere. Many 
of our sermons fail to reveal any awareness of the conditions 
of the world in which we live or of the needs of individuals 
or of any practical solution to their problems. 

Again, how many ministers give as much time to visitation 
and counseling with young people as they do with adults? 
How many take time and put forth the effort really to know 
the youth of their church? Are there many ministers who 
keep a separate file of their young people with separate 
folders? I know of only one minister who does so. 

Here is a boy suffering the humiliating problem of per- 
sonal abuse. Will he go to the minister? Likely not. He will 
consider that more than likely his minister will draw his 
coattails around him in holy horror and prattle off some 
moralistic advice, that he will be more humiliated than ever. 

It is my conviction that the church has the greatest oppor- 
tunity of any institution in society of developing youth into 
the builders of a new world. It is the one institution that can 
combat the false patterns of thought operative in our society. 
Through its preaching, teaching, and training ,it can provide 
the principles of Jesus as man's source of values. It can show 
man the true happiness of a well-balanced life, the real mean- 
ing of love, human and divine, and the urgent need of God in 
individual life and society. It is the one institution that can 
transform education into an agency of God through demand- 
ing that Christian teachers be given the freedom to express 
those Christian convictions that are common to all. It is the 
one institution that can save the home by bringing its teach- 
ings to bear directly on the appalling problems besetting 
modern family life. It can, if we will awaken to our weak- 
nesses and be responsive to the vast opportunities that lie 
before us. 

Youth is the only group that can save this world of ours. 
Grownups are too old, too blind, and too steeped in custom 
and tradition to do it. Only youth has the qualifications. Only 
youth has life and daring enough to do it. But these are 
nothing without Christ. We dare not fail to give them Christ. 
We must not fail. 

The Christ of Many Forms 

Henry Alford Porter 

npHE RESURRECTION stories are very beautiful and 
- 1 - very wonderful. But the most exquisite of them all is 
the story of Christ's appearance on the first Easter evening 
to two unknown disciples as they walked from Jerusalem to 
Emmaus. These men were dragging themselves over the 
seven miles from the capital to their village home, burdened 
with despair. And then He came. The risen Christ drew 
near and went with them. 

They did not know him at first. True, as He walked and 
talked with them, their hearts burned within them, but 
something prevented recognition. Mark tells us what it was 
— "He appeared to them in another form." 

That is symbolic of an eternal characteristic of Christ. 
That is what He has been doing from generation to genera- 
tion—appearing in different forms. "One generation passeth 
away and another generation cometh," and how differently 
the succeeding generations see Him and think of Him and 
His truth. 

I have in my library sermons by ministers of generations 
gone. They were able preachers, consecrated characters, 
devoted servants and sincere interpreters of Christ. And 
yet if you were to read one of their sermons, you would find 
their theology strange and their Christ different, a Christ 
unrelated to many human problems. We need the same 
Christ they knew and loved and worshiped and served, but 
in another form. 

Different Periods of History 

Anyone who knows anything of the history of Christianity 
knows how different Christ's appeal has been to different 
periods. Each has had, in a sense, a Christ of its own. That 
helps to account, as Frederick Spurr, a notable Baptist 
preacher of England, reminded us years ago, for the various 
denominations of Christendom. They arose, in large measure, 
from different interpretations of Christ and His message to 

It is a sad and tragic story in some ways. One group would 


130 Christian Frontiers 

insist that its view was the only true one, and that if Christ 
did not appear to others in the one particular form that He 
did to them He did not really appear to the others at all. And 
so we have that long record of strife and bitterness and 
slander and persecution among those who professed to be 
the disciples of the same Master. 

We have reached a better understanding today and realize 
that the appearance of Christ in differing forms to these 
various groups was originally due, as a rule, to their emphasis 
on some truth or truths about Christ and His message that 
had been forgotten or neglected, and that nearly every form 
in which He appeared was particularly needed at the time. 

I am a Baptist, and the longer I live the more of a Baptist 
I am. And yet I believe that no denomination has ever seen 
all there is of Christ and His many-sided truth. There is 
significance in the statement: "There is one Christ and we 
all need him; there are many Christs and we need them all." 

Different Stages of Life 

Christ appears in varying forms in each stage of life. 
The child sings of the gentle Jesus, meek and mild, who looks 
upon a little child. He knows something about the Saviour's 
birth and life and death, but little about His work and pur- 
pose in the world. 

A man may say, "I have outgrown the faith of my child- 
hood." So he should. He should see Christ then in another 
form — a larger Christ and a mightier, the incomparable 
Leader and Inspirer of men, whose "Follow Me" calls him 
to high endeavor. 

When grown old, he may see Christ in yet another form, 
as the faithful Friend of the long day of life, coming then to 
lead him through the evening shadows to the unfading light 
of the everlasting home. 

We are, as Peter tells us, to "grow in grace and in the 
knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ." We should 
not have the same view of Christ we had 10 or 15 years ago, 
or even a year ago. If we do, it is because we have not been 
growing in knowledge of Him. 

Christ appears in varying forms to different persons. He 
did even in the New Testament. The writers had different 

The Christ of Many Forms 131 

views of His many-sided work and personality. He appeared 
in one form in the synoptic gospels, another in the gospel 
of John, another in the writings of Paul, another in the letter 
to the Hebrews, another in the Epistle of James, and in yet 
another in the book of Revelation. All the way through He 
is the very same Jesus, but He is seen from different points 
of view. 

Different People 

He still appears in different ways to different people. 
There is an infinite variety in Him, and He manifests Him- 
self in forms as manifold as the needs of human minds and 
hearts and the conditions of human life. He follows no regu- 
lation method. He draws near to men in diverse forms so 
that every man may have a Christ of his own. 

This truth should be remembered forever by the preacher. 
He should seek to preach the whole of Christ so that each 
who hears should see with his own eyes a Christ adapted 
to his need. 

This truth should be remembered forever also by our mis- 
sionaries and mission boards and all who are seeking to win 
the races of mankind to Christ. A Negro church in the deep 
South has put in its stained glass window a Negro Christ. 
Why not? He belongs to one color as much as to another. 
He belongs to the East as much as to the West. 

Kipling, after a long sojourn in India, wrote, "East is east, 
and west is west, and never the twain shall meet." But they 
meet in Christ. Different races see Christ differently, but the 
glory of the Christian religion is that it has a Saviour adapted 
to every race, and this multiform Christ can reveal Himself 
and manifest His redeeming grace and power to the black 
as to the white, to the east as to the west, to all the races 
of the world, and to each in its own way. 

The Japanese need not become English Christians, nor 
the Chinese American Christians. They could not if they 
would. So let us not try to press them into our western mold. 
Let us, rather, entertain the hope that our Master whose 
life on earth was lived in the East may find discerning inter- 
preters there who will make a unique contribution to the 
fuller understanding of our many-sided Christ, and thereby 

132 Christian Frontiers 

to the enrichment of our faith. 

Let us not be afraid to face the fact that Christ may appear 
in ever so many ways. Let us rejoice rather in His inexhaust- 
ible wonder and His everlasting freshness. The apostle John 
said that if all the things that Jesus said and did were written 
down, the world itself could not contain the record. That 
is an hyperbole, but the literal truth is that we never get 
to the end of Him. 

The writer of the book of Hebrews exclaimed, "Jesus 
Christ, yesterday, today and forever the same." But he could 
have said just as truthfully, "Jesus Christ, yesterday, today 
and forever different." There has been a succession of "Lives 
of Christ" almost without number, and doubtless this will 
continue till the end of time, for every generation calls for a 
Christ of another form. 

No Need To Be Fearful 

Let us not be afraid if Christ makes His appearance in 
some form that is not familiar to us. An old woman, telling 
of her long-absent son's return from the war, said, "He 
stopped there on the sidewalk speaking to someone, and I 
gave a glance at him, and never thought who it was. All 
those long weeks and months I'd been waiting and watching 
and praying for him to come and then didn't know him at 
first. I even wondered to myself who was coming to interfere 
with my work." 

So are we apt to be slow to recognize any unaccustomed 
form of Christ, and to be fearful of any unfamiliar phase of 
His truth. It was said that when the boys came home from 
overseas they would bring with them a new conception of 
the religion of Christ and a new view of His church, which is 
to say they would see Christ in another form. 

I think numbers of our returned men have a new appre- 
hension of Christian service. They have seen another, a 
larger Christ, binding up not only the wounds of the indi- 
vidual but also the wounds of society, a Christ bent on saving 
the world from its competitive strife, its incomplete democ- 
racy and its false nationalism. 

It is said of the disciples that as Christ walked ahead of 
them, His face steadfastly set toward the Jerusalem of His 

The Christ of Many Forms 133 

scourging and spitting and death, "As they followed they 
were afraid." They had caught at last a clearer view of His 
redeeming purpose and how it was to be attained, and they 
were fearful. 

Why should we be afraid of larger meanings of His mis- 
sion to mankind, even though they seem to be so different 
from those entertained before as almost to give us another 
Christ? We follow an ever-increasing and advancing Leader, 
a Leader equal to all the problems of a humanity constantly 
on the march. 

What of the future? There may be dark and rough times 
ahead of us, but I believe the stage is being set for some 
cosmic happening. A new world is rising from the ashes of 
the old. A new day is coming up in thunder from the east. 
A new Christ is emerging from deeper insight into his life 
and words and purpose. 

"For I doubt not through the ages 
One increasing purpose runs, 
And the thoughts of men are widened 
With the process of the suns." 


The Significance of Silence and 

Other Sermons. 
By Leslie D. Weatherhead. 
New York, Abingdon-Cokesbury 
Press, 1945. 238 pages. 

Dr. Weatherhead would prob- 
ably feel complimented to know 
that this reviewer heard the 
title sermon of this volume 
preached recently in a church 
which he chanced to attend — 
preached point for point, illus- 
tration for illustration, with 
hardly a variation. It is a good 
sermon, and I enjoyed it both 
times: when I read it, and when 
the preacher read it. The in- 
cident has helped answer for 
me the question, who reads 
books of sermons, anyway? Pub- 
lishers must find them profitable 
ventures, for the market is flood- 
ed with them. Do I have the 
answer — preachers buy them to 
get ideas for sermons? At any 
rate I can recommend Dr. Wea- 
therhead's book to other preach- 

In this book they will find 
twenty-two excellent sermons, 
including the title piece. They 
will also find a longish preface, 
to me more interesting than any 
sermon, which describes the 
work of the great City Temple 
in London, of which Dr. Wea- 
therhead is pastor, and incident- 
ally an insight into some of the 
pastoral methods which have 
made his church a model for 
metropolitan church work both 
here and abroad. 

The student of sermon litera- 
ture will find in this volume 
many excellent examples of the 

well-made sermon. Severely lim- 
ited to the traditional twenty- 
minute length (after which no 
souls are saved), these sermons 
show the careful construction 
necessary for oral delivery be- 
fore a popular audience. A typ- 
ical sermon has three or four 
main points, each carefully not- 
ed, often by number, with a 
transitional sentence and round- 
ed with a summary. There is an 
introduction and a conclusion. 
These carefully noted points and 
transitions make the sermons a 
delight to study, and excellent 
models of the preacher's art to- 

If poetry should be simple, 
sensuous, and passionate, how 
much more should the oratory 
of the pulpit, which touches the 
hearts of believers who are al- 
ready filled with the tender emo- 
tions of religion when the preach- 
er begins his discourse? Such a 
description as Milton used well 
fits Dr. Weatherhead's style. It 
abounds in lovely poetic phrases, 
such as this, from his sermon 
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor," 
"Love ... is the loveliest of all 
things that rise in the conscious- 
ness of man, the most perfect 
flower his personality produces." 
Familiar words, simple figures of 
speech, concrete images and lan- 
guage, these mark his style, 
which is naturally colored by his 
frequent references to the Bible, 
sometimes in whole galaxies at 
once, Biblical references, I hast- 
en to add, are not used for proof- 
texts but to open the wealth of 
worship and wisdom, faith and 



lovingkindness, which the Bible 
offers for its readers. 

One more item deserves note: 
Dr. Weatherhead's illustrations. 
They are, of course, chosen from 
all the resources at his command, 
but principally from his own ex- 
perience, or from those of his 
friends. Hardly a sermon in the 
book is without its personal anec- 
dote, often based on what some- 
one has told him, or some inci- 
dent in his pastoral work. They 
light up his theology and ethic 
in the same way that the modern 
journalist's accounts of a great 
man's exploits are enlivened 
with biographical anecdote. But 
poetry, too, both modern and 
standard, both English and 
American, is a frequent source 
of illustration, or, shall I say re- 
inforcement. Certainly his use of 
poetry is illuminating to his mes- 
sages, and to me one of the finest 
things in the book. And finally, 
Dr. Weatherhead is not afraid to 
bring evidences of his study to 
his service — especially the re- 
sults of his reading in books on 
religious themes. I note Pascal, 
Luther, Ghandi, Jeans, C. S. 
Lewis, Dr. Dodd, and many 
others among the authors to 
whom he referred or from whom 
he quoted. 

Finally, a word about Dr. 
Weatherhead's themes will indi- 
cate what spiritual feasts, and 
yet how well-balanced a diet, the 
congregation of the City Temple 
had during the period when 
these sermons were delivered. 
My classification shows some- 
thing like this division of topics: 
On God and His Character (5), 

On Christ and the Gospel (3), On 
the mystic appeal of Religion 
(3), Miscellaneous sermons of re- 
ligion and personality (4), On the 
duties of the Christian (7), 
divided as follows: three on 
love, two companion sermons of 
church attendance, and a similar 
pair on Bible study. 

Thus the modern catalogue of 
sermon topics is fairly covered. 
Naturally hell-fire and damna- 
tion, traditional dogmatic the- 
ology, and personal morality re- 
ceive scant treatment. It is pret- 
ty late to scare men into heaven; 
the dogmas which delighted our 
fathers stir no modern audience; 
and Dr. Weatherhead wisely rea- 
lizes that sermons on temper- 
ance, sabbath - breaking, card- 
playing, dancing, and all the tra- 
ditional sins on which protest- 
ant preachers love to harp, would 
be small potatoes for audiences 
wracked by the terrific cataclysm 
of world war. His sermons may 
be described in a word as mes- 
sages of comfort for suffering 

Dr. Weatherhead's book is a 
permanent contribution to that 
type of religious literature, the 
book of sermons, without which 
Dr. Johnson said no library was 
complete, and takes its place in 
the great collection of English 
sermon-books which begins with 
Latimer and contains such great 
names as Donne, Taylor, Tillot- 
son, Butler, Sterne, Newman, 
and Drummond. 

A. C. Howell 

The University of San 
Carlos de Guatemala 



Chicago — A new Reformation 
with a revitalized theology is a 
major need of contemporary 
Protestantism, Henry R. Luce, 
publisher of Time, Life and For- 
tune magazines, said here at the 
annual luncheon of the Church 
Federation of Greater Chicago. 

Luce, son of a Presbyterian 
missionary, criticized "the non- 
creedal, non - theological, non- 
ecclesiastical, fashionable Prot- 
estantism of the last few de- 
cades" for uttering "an appalling 
amount of nonsense not only 
about religion but also about 
politics and economics, about 
war and about peace." 

He said Protestantism in the 
twentieth century "has been 
blown about by every wind of 
secular doctrine." 

Protestantism today requires a 
stronger and better theology and 
a clergy that will preach this 
theology, Luce contended, adding 
that laymen "have no greater re- 
sponsibility than to see to it that 
we have a thoroughly trained, 
intellectually disciplined pas- 

The publisher asserted that 
Sunday school curricula should 
be drastically altered to bring 
more teaching about God and 
the Bible into church school- 

"What about Christianity in 
the public school system, which 
over the past century Protestants 
were mainly responsible for hav- 
ing established?" he asked. 

Although religion in the pub- 
lic schools is a "tough" question, 
he said, "it is certainly time that j 
Protestants, if they don't do any- 
thing else, should unite on a pro- 
gram to bring the knowledge of 
God to our boys and girls at 


Geneva (RNS) — Lack of full 
freedom for Protestant churches 
in the Russian zone of Germany 
still causes anxiety, but there are 
certain hopeful signs, according 
to Dr. W. A. Visser 't Hooft, 
general secretary of the World 
Council of Churches. 

He said that there are encour- 
aging reports of friendly under- 
standing achieved in cases where 
church representatives "come 
into open contact with military 

As an illustration, Dr. Visser 
't Hooft cited one town where 
people were required to work 
on their farms on Sundays. The 
minister approached the local 
commandant and pointed out 
that the ten commandments re- 
quire Christians to observe the 
Sabbath. The officer countered by 
asking what these command- 
ments were and when recited to 
him, he replied: "This is indeed 
outstanding, and should be 
preached everywhere." 

"From that day on, no more 
work was demanded on Sun- 
days," Dr. Visser 't Hooft said. 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 
Vol. II MAY, 1947 No~~5 


Das Kelley Barnett, Editor-in-Chief 
William W. Finlator, Associate Editor William M. Poteat, Book Editor 

Almonte C. Howell, Advisory Editor Marjorie E. Moore, Advisory Editor 

J. O. Bailey, Managing Editor Sara Lowrey, Poetry Editor 


W. O. Carver, Louisville, Ky. 
H. B. Cross, Nashville, Tenn. Swan Hayworth, Vicksburg, Miss. 

George B. Cutten, Chapel Hill, N. C. Withrow T. Holland, Haynesville, La. 

Adiel J. Moncrief, St. Joseph, Mo. 

J. M. Dawson, Washington, D. C. 

Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. 

Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C. Blake Smith < Austin > Texas 

J. C. Wilkinson, Athens, Georgia Hubert R. Howard, Jr., Tulsa, Okla. 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 
Fred B. Helms John McGinnis 

Carl Lee Ousley Warren Carr 

R. K. Redwine A. C. McCall 

Wilbur W. Hutchins 


Editorials 139 

The Minister — Key Man in 

Race Relations Edward A. McDowell 143 

A Study in Denominationalism :.William W. Barnes .....150 

"Thy Kingdom Come" C. S. Gardner 159 

Books 165 

News 167 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July and August) by the Baptist 
Book Club, a non-profit fellowship of ministers and laymen. Address all corres- 
pondence to Box 508, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 by the Baptist 
Book Club. Entered as second class matter February 6, 1947 at the post office at 
Chapel Hill, N. C. under the Act of March 3, 1879. Subscription price, two dollars 
a year; twenty-five cents a copy. Printed by The Graphic Press, Inc., Raleigh,N.C. 

Who's Who In This Issue 

EDWARD A. McDOWELL, a graduate of Furman Uni- 
versity, is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the 
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Ken- 
tucky. During the past year, Dr. McDowell, on Sabbatical 
leave from Furman, has been visiting lecturer on New 
Testament Greek at Union Theological Seminary in New 
York City. 

C. S. GARDNER, now retired, was for many years Pro- 
fessor of Homiletics and taught the first courses in Christian 
Sociology at the Southern Baptist Seminary, Louisville, Ken- 
tucky. Christian Frontiers takes pride in printing a sermon 
Dr. Gardner preached to the Southern Baptist Convention in 
1911. In our judgment, his approach to social problems is 

WILLIAM W. BARNES is Professor of Church History 
at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort 
Worth, Texas. Dr. Barnes is an authority on Southern Bap- 
tist history. 

OUR REVIEWERS for this month are W. W. Finlator, 
Associate Editor of Christian Frontiers; J. C. Herrin, Student 
Minister of the Baptist Church in Chapel Hill; and J. Winston 
Pearce, Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Durham. 


Just What Are "Messengers"? 

"vyrHAT are "messengers" at our Baptist conventions? 
Vt The answer seems to depend upon the particular 
matter before the convention. If, for example, a motion to 
join a state convocation of churches is being considered, then 
is raised the cry that the assembly is composed not of del- 
egates but of "messengers" with no authority to commit the 
local churches to any such action. If, on the other hand, the 
convention is contemplating joining other denominational 
groups in something like an alliance for a return to Prohibi- 
tion, and funds are needed for the endeavor, then the mes- 
sengers commit their local congregations lock, stock and 
barrel! Messengers then are at one time mere good- will boys 
who cannot pass measures or adopt resolutions binding on 
the folks back home, and at another time true crusaders of 
the church, panoplied in authority. They can plead impotency 
when matters frowned upon by their leaders are considered; 
they can brandish concealed weapons of authority when more 
favored items are before them. Thus while the North Caro- 
lina Convention at Asheville would have rejected any motion 
to join the N. C. Council of Churches on the grounds that it 
lacked the authority, yet it rescinded its action on the resolu- 
tion concerning race and class discrimination under a bar- 
rage of eloquent assurances that such action would compel 
the churches and denominational colleges to open their doors 
to "our Negro brethren"! The "messenger" system is a clever 
subterfuge, exploited to work both ways. It is time for our 
people to recognize it for what it is, reject it on the grounds 
that it comes close to hypocrisy, and send men and women to 
our conventions with delegated authority, "power to act." 

Are We Afraid Of Our Laymen? 

STANLEY HIGH'S article "Enlist the Laymen, Mr. 
Taft," appearing in the February 12 issue of The 
Christian Century makes wholesome but discomfiting reading 


140 Christian Frontiers 

for every Southern Baptist proud of the non-clerical character 
of his denomination, whose "priests" are simply baptized 
believers. Expressing hearty approval that Mr. Charles P. 
Taft, recently elected president of the Federal Council of 
Churches, is not a clergyman, Mr. High names three evils 
in Protestantism, secularism, denominationalism, and cleric- 
alism, and he discusses the third, clericalism. The first most 
Southern Baptists will agree to be evil; to the second, they 
will be indifferent; at the third, they will be astonished. 
What, our Convention a clerical and non-laymen affair? 
Preposterous! Nevertheless the charges Mr. High levels 
against Protestantism in general are clearly true of our 
denomination. Laymen and laywomen, especially younger, 
aggressive ones, are not only absent from, but in the main 
indifferent to the assemblies and conventions of our churches. 
A hierarchy runs the show. 

A hierarchy never trusts the ark and sacred vessels of 
the denomination to the people. A hierarchy is afraid of the 

Says Mr. High: "The Protestant enterprise in the United 
States is preacher-ridden. When Protestantism speaks, the 
language, the voice and the meaning are clerical. What 
Protestantism does is planned by preachers. What Protes- 
tantism refuses to do is explained by preacher-reasons." In 
his efforts to advance the cause of Protestantism, "Mr. Taft 
will find himself . . . often afoul of the clergy — and particularly 
those of the clergy who have left the earth-seasoned realities 
of the parish ministry to become members of the hierarchy 
of denominational and conventional officials." When laymen 
do attend the church meetings they, "like freshmen congress- 
men, are seen and not heard. ... In the actual business of 
determining where the church shall stand and what it shall 
do, the preachers — by virtue of their acquaintance with each 
other, their familiarity with the proceedings, their training 
in and their capacity to get excited about ecclesiastical and 
theological obfuscations, and their facility in public speech 
— are the works." Has Mr. High been listening in, Drew- 
Pearson fashion, at some denominational gatherings? "It 
is exceedingly difficult to persuade top laymen in any denom- 
ination, if they are still young enough to be in active business 

Editorials 141 

or professional life, to serve at all or more than once. As a 
result, lay delegations are heavily weighted with laymen who 
have retired and with others for whom the trip and the occa- 
sion are a capital 'E' Event." 

Of course there are many notable exceptions to this 
picture, and of course there are several justifications for a 
clergy-dominated conference. But the general indictment 
holds, and a chief cause (let us be frank) for this clericalism 
in a layman's denomination is the inherent fear of the un- 
denominationalism and non-bureaucracy of the laymen. How 
would a lay-dominated Baptist convention feel about a state 
council of churches, the Federal Council, the World Council? 
What expressions would it make concerning some of the 
policies and practices of, say, our Sunday School Board? What 
opinions might be voiced in a discussion — and it might be 
brought up — of close communion? A prominent advocate 
of "the American way" was recently alarmed lest our nation's 
economy fall into the hands of the people. How many of our 
clergy would tremble at the possibility of lay-control of our 
layman's religion? 

If we admit that the average layman does not know 
enough about our Baptist work to direct the affairs of the 
denomination, we confess not only to failure in indoctrina- 
tion, but to fear of democracy among the most liberty-loving 
religious sect in the world. If we argue that the laymen 
would not stay in the Baptist groove, we infer that only the 
clergy are to be trusted as guardians of the faith. An attitude 
of Roman Catholic clericalism enters the ranks of freedom- 
loving Baptists! As Mr. High says: "The Catholic hierarchy 
can put the Roman Catholic Church on record, and is lis- 
tened to accordingly. But both the general public and the 
churchgoing public are aware, I think, that no such authority 
is vested in the Protestant clergy. That fact has been part 
of the Protestant boast." Well, if it is our boast, let's make 
it our practice. To our distinguished president let us say, 
"Enlist the layman, Dr. Newton." And to our leaders through- 
out the state conventions, "More and more and yet more 
laymen, please!" 

United Nations Snubbed 

'HpHE League of Nations was doomed to failure because 
A of America's refusal to have any active part in it. If 
the United Nations fails it will be because America in a new 
interventionist role ignored and by-passed it. By the time this 
goes to press Congress will have given the Administration the 
green light to prop up and bulwark a decadent monarchy in 
Greece, a monarchy which has given ample proof of its fascist 
leanings, and to support a despotic government in Turkey. 
And all in the name of democracy and national defense! The 
Monroe Doctrine has been extended in concept, and soon will 
be extended in practice, from the Western Hemisphere to the 
Dardanelles. It has been recently given a trial in China, where 
it failed tragically. It will fail ultimately in Greece and 
Turkey. While it is true that no one wishes to remove all 
obstacles to Russian expansion, it is also true that most 
Americans show a shocking lack of imagination in appreciat- 
ing Russia's legitimate interest in desiring friendly govern- 
ments along her borders. Clearly here is a problem which 
should be dumped promptly into the lap of the United Na- 
tions. How would we feel if Russia sent food and arms and 
military personnel to Mexico to build up a wall against de- 
mocracy? There is absolutely no hope for our planet without 
a super state to resolve such differences between its member 
states. This super state must be able to speak and act with 
ultimate authority. The present action of our government is 
a body blow to the United Nations. It is being killed while 
aborning. Wake up, America! 


The Minister — Key Man In Race Relations 

Edward A. McDowell 

1. Soul Sickness 

THE minister of Jesus Christ is called to be a physician 
of souls. For this reason, if for no other, he can be 
the key man in race relations. Race prejudice is a sickness of 
the soul, as racial conflict is a sickness of society. The tragedy 
of our situation in the South is that for the most part our peo- 
ple do not realize that they are victims of spiritual sickness in 
accepting and perpetuating un-Christian racial patterns. They 
need physicians who can diagnose the illness and prescribe 
the cure. Who better than the Christian minister is equipped 
for this service? 

People who are ill do not act like normal human beings, 
especially if the illness from which they suffer is of the mind 
and soul. Brutality is not normal in a civilized community. 
Especially is it not normal among the people of the South 
where courtesy, kindness, and religion are revered and de- 
mocracy is praised. Southern people who give expression to 
racial hatred and intolerance are at war with themselves. 
This is why incidents of inhuman and often brutal treatment 
of Negroes are common in the South. 

This sickness of the South damages the souls of white and 
black alike. Perhaps the prejudiced white Southerner is as 
unaware of the damage prejudice does to his own soul as he 
is ignorant of the damage it does to the soul of the Negro. Two 
incidents of the baneful workings of prejudice have come to 
the personal attention of the writer. 

The first involves one of the most distinguished Negro 
leaders of America. This man would be honored in any white 
gathering in the world outside the South. He is a Ph.D. grad- 
uate of one of the great universities of the United States and 
is a wearer of the Phi Beta Kappa key. He is listed in Who's 
Who in America and is the president of one of the leading 
Negro educational institutions of the South. On one occasion 
he found it necessary to send a telegram from the railway 
station of the city in which he lives. Because there was no 
telegraph office in the Negro waiting room he went to the 


144 Christian Frontiers 

telegraph office in the white waiting room to write his mes- 
sage. While he was standing at the desk writing his message, 
a white man came up and without warning struck his hat 
from his head, shouting at the same time: "Take your hat 
off, nigger; don't you know you have to take your hat off in 
the presence of a white lady?" Restraining himself, and with- 
out a word, but all the while fearful of physical violence at 
the hands of the white man, the college president picked up 
his hat, put it on, and resumed the writing of his message. 
This he did, he says, to maintain his self respect. He managed 
to escape the encounter unscathed in body, but not without 
being shaken in soul. The white man had given vent to the 
sickness in his soul and in so doing had hurt the soul of a 
great .and good Christian Negro. 

The second incident also involves a Negro educator, a 
teacher in one of our best Southern Negro colleges. During 
the war he decided to go into war work for the government. 
A physical examination was necessary, and he visited a 
doctor's office to secure it. He arrived early at the office but 
was forced to sit for several hours and wait while all of the 
white patients were served. Finally when all of the white 
patients had had their turn he was called. When his blood 
pressure was taken the doctor shook his head and said, "Your 
blood pressure is too high; I can't pass you." The teacher's 
reply was revealing. "Doctor," he said, "it's natural that my 
blood pressure should be high. I got to your office early, and 
yet I had to sit in your waiting room hour after hour and 
see all of the white people go in ahead of me. You know how 
that made me feel; all the time my blood pressure was going 
up." The teacher pressed his point with a significant question. 
"Don't you know," he asked the doctor, "that all of us colored 
people have higher blood pressure than the white people be- 
cause of this sort of thing?" The doctor saw the point, accept- 
ed the explanation, and gave his client an acceptable blood 
pressure reading. But does not this incident poignantly illus- 
trate the baneful effects of prejudice upon the bodies as well 
as the souls of Negro people? 

2. Community Sickness 

Wherever there is racial conflict in a community, North 
or South, that community is in an unhealthy condition spirit- 

The Minister — Key Man in Race Relations 145 

ually. Often the causes of tension are allowed to fester when 
they should be dealt with and eliminated. They are always 
dangerous. They can become the causes of violence and blood- 
shed. When present they hang like a pall over the homes and 
lives of people who are entitled to the freedom and happiness 
guaranteed under the Constitution. One of the tragic aspects 
of life in the South is that the "health" of the community is 
endangered by the suspicions, fears, and hatreds of one group 
in regard to the other. White prejudice against the Negro and 
Negro resentment against the white man are passed from 
generation to generation, and this in a land of beauty, love, 
song and laughter, a land of religion, designed by God for 
happiness. The imposition by the white group of certain 
customs designed to remind the Negro continually of his in- 
feriority reacts in an unhealthy way upon the personalities of 
both Negroes and white people. Custom demands that the 
Negro think of himself as inferior, but in many cases the 
psychological reaction, particularly among Negro youth, is 
that the Negro wishes to demonstrate his superiority. This 
reaction may produce some good results, such as driving the 
Negro to secure the best education possible, but often it pro- 
duces pugnaciousness, assertiveness, bad manners. This in 
turn produces irritation in the white man, and so the vicious 
circle continues unbroken. 

Another evil result of customs designed to make the Negro 
feel inferior is that they encourage white people to dote upon 
their "superiority" and to take advantage of people unable 
to defend themselves. The white people of the South are the 
victims of their own defense pattern, for in the effort to 
assert their superiority they not only develop a dangerous 
egotism, but they come near to sadism, a psychopathic con- 
dition in which a person takes pleasure in inflicting pain 
upon another. 

Another evil of these customs is the split personality 
type that they foster. The Negro in the typical Southern 
community lives in two worlds and is forced to adapt his 
thoughts, his speech, and his conduct to these two worlds. 
One of the worlds is his world in which he is a self-respecting 
man; the other is the white man's world in which he is a 
hypocrite. The community pattern also fosters dualistic per- 

146 Christian Frontiers 

sonality traits in the white man. The white individual must 
act in one way towards the white man, in another way to- 
wards the Negro. The manner in which he acts towards the 
Negro is often in conflict with the higher standard of relation- 
ships he knows to be right in his dealing with his fellow man, 
but he is forced by the community pattern, even when he 
feels that it is wrong, to make an exception of the Negro in 
his application of the ethical standards he knows in his 
heart is right. This is bound to be hurtful to his character 
development. Often, too, the white man will assent to some 
expression of community resentment, such as mob violence, 
when his conscience rebels against assent, because it is 
easier to conform than to protest. No white man can come 
through such an experience with his self-respect intact. 

3. The Minister's Responsibility to the Community 

The minister, when he considers these things, realizes 
that he must go beyond dealing with individuals in his effort 
to find a better way in race relations. He cannot forget that 
his young people must be brought up in a community com- 
posed of people and institutions that are both good and bad. 
The minister can no more ignore the evils of race prejudice 
than he can ignore barrooms and brothels. It is the duty of 
the minister, therefore, to search out the causes of racial 
ill will in his community and seek the remedies for them. 
There are many of these causes that are not beyond treat- 
ment and removal. Some of these are mistreatment of Negroes 
by police officers, discrimination against Negroes in the dis- 
tribution of public funds and in the creation of parks and 
playgrounds, poor health facilities and hospitals for Negroes, 
disfranchisement of Negroes, bad treatment of Negroes on 
street cars and busses, and poor housing conditions among 
the colored people. All of these causes of ill-will result from 
the white man's prejudices. 

The Negro has his failings, too, and it is well for the 
Negro minister to remember this and realize that the Negro 
group must shoulder a portion of the responsibility for creat- 
ing a healthy community spirit. Resentment on the Negro's 
part must be dealt with if progress is to be made. Negroes 
must be taught by their ministers that cooperation between 

The Minister — Key Man in Race Relations 147 

the races is essential to improvement of the Negro's status 
and that good-will on the part of the Negro, as well as the 
white man, is the foundation of cooperation. 

4. The Minister at Work on the Problem 

In the light of the baneful effects of racial tension on 
individuals and community alike, it is difficult to see how 
the minister can escape feeling some responsibility for the 
racial situation in his community. Recent developments in 
the South show that an increasing number of ministers are 
accepting responsibility for solution of the race problem, but 
thousands of ministers have failed to develop a sense of 
stewardship in this matter; scores of others have a sincere 
desire "to do something" but do not know what to do. Only 
the minister who has lived and served in a Southern com- 
munity can fully appreciate the problems that confront one 
who undertakes to improve the racial situation in his com- 
munity. But these problems are not insoluble, and they 
should not deter the minister from accepting a stewardship 
that is rightfully his. 

Every community presents its own peculiar problems and 
no set of rules can be rigidly applied, but certain general 
principles can be applied in almost all communities. These 
are offered as suggestions to ministers who want to have a 
share in bringing about a better day in the South. 

1. Let the minister prepare himself. By self-examination 
and prayer let the minister discover and conquer all race 
prejudice that may exist in his own heart. After his own 
"conversion" is complete, let him educate himself about the 
race problem. Let him read not only the best books on race, 
but books on the Negro and Negro culture. Let him read the 
poems, novels, and dramas written by Negro men of letters. 

2. Let him cooperate personally with Negro leaders. One 
of the first steps in improving the racial situation in a com- 
munity is the development of friendly relations between 
leaders in the white and Negro groups. The white minister 
should seek out the Negro minister and establish fraternal 
and co-operative relationship with him. Such a relationship 
will provide for the white minister a source of information 

148 Christian Frontiers 

concerning the mind of the Negro, what he thinks and what 
he wants; it will afford a helpful beginning of co-operation. 

3. Let him study the local situation. The minister who 
wishes to do something about the race problem in his own 
community must know from observation and experience what 
the situation is. He should find out how the Negro population 
lives and what Negroes' grievances are. He should find 
answers to these questions: How are Negroes treated by the 
police and law enforcement officials? How are they treated 
on street cars and busses? What proportion of school funds 
do they receive for their schools? Are their schools adequate 
and are their teachers justly paid? Are the Negroes provided 
with public parks and playgrounds? What are the health 
conditions among the Negroes? What are the needs of the 
Negro churches? Other questions will suggest themselves, 
and every answer may uncover a cause of racial tension. 

4. Let the minister enlist the people of his own church in 
his effort. This step of course will test his wisdom, courage, 
and patience. Let him lead his people to know the facts be- 
fore he preaches at them. Let him present the needs of a 
local Negro church and enlist the co-operation of several of 
his organizations in aiding this church in a building program, 
or in a training course, or the like. In the course of such a 
program the colored minister may be invited to speak before 
groups in the white church, and thus the way may be paved 
for interracial co-operation. Groups from the white church 
should visit Negro churches and centers to learn by personal 
observation the needs of the Negro community. When by 
such personal experience the needs of the Negro community 
have come to be generally recognized, the white minister 
may then speak effectively from the pulpit on the subject of 
race prejudice and may present the Christian answer to the 

5. Let the minister accept the responsibility of serving his 
community as a prophet and priest of Christian love and 
justice. If the people of his church and commnity are guilty 
of the sin of prejudice he must for their sakes and in fidelity 
to the gospel point out the sin and reveal the way of love. 
With courage, and yet always in love, he must denounce 

The Minister — Key Man in Race Relations 149 

5. A Charter on Race Relations 

A special committee of the Southern Baptist Convention 
formulated for submission to the Convention a charter on 
race relations to serve as a guide for Southern white Baptists. 
The charter contains a series of "principles of conduct" which 
well may be used by ministers in presenting to their people 
a practical course of action. They follow: 

1. We shall think of the Negro as a person and treat him 

2. We shall continually strive as individuals to conquer 
all prejudice and eliminate from our speech terms of con- 
tempt and from our conduct actions of ill-will. 

3. We shall teach our children that prejudice is un- 
christian and that good-will and helpful deeds are the duty 
of every Christian toward all men of all races. 

4. We shall protest against injustice and indignities 
against Negroes, as we do in the case of people of our own 
race, whenever and wherever we meet them. 

5. We shall be willing for the Negro to enjoy the rights 
granted to him under the Constitution of the United States, 
including the right to vote, to serve on juries, to receive 
justice in the courts, to be free from mob violence, to secure 
a just share of the benefits of educational and other funds, 
and to receive equal service for equal payment on public 
carriers and conveniences. 

6. We shall be just in our dealing with the Negro as an 
individual. Whenever he is in our employ we shall pay him 
an adequate wage and provide for him healthful working 

7. We shall strive to promote community good-will be- 
tween the races in every way possible. 

8. We shall actively co-operate with Negro Baptists in 
the building up of their churches, the education of their 
ministers, and the promotion of their missions and evangelis- 
tic programs. 

The Christian minister dare not excuse himself from fol- 
lowing these principles. Indifference is gross sin. Should he 
fail in some of his objectives, he may have the satisfaction of 
a good conscience as he seeks to apply the gospel to the race 

A Study In Denominationalism 

William W. Barnes 

IT has been said that "Southern Baptists are the problem 
child of Protestantism." The intense denominational 
consciousness of Southern Baptists is both the result of pre- 
ceding conditions, doctrinal and historical, and the cause for 
the methods of work adopted, which in turn have deepened 
the denominational consciousness. Among the large denom- 
inational groups in America perhaps the only parallel in de- 
nominational intensity is found in Roman Catholics. 

The roots of this denominational intensity may be found 
in the historical background of Baptists in the South. There 
are features in the ecclesiology, in the historical conditions 
in the South, in the method of work of Southern Baptists 
and in the conduct of that work which have brought about 
the development of the current denominational outlook. 

I. Ecclesiology 

Three distinct Baptist types have mingled together and 
formed the great stream of Southern Baptist history. Two of 
those originated in England, the third arose in America. 

1. Particular Baptists. The Particular or Calvinistic Bap- 
tists come to the surface in the foment in the England of the 
early seventeenth century. They began in the 1640's to set 
forth to the world their doctrinal views. In the final form of 
their confessional statement (1689) they have this to say: 
"Chapter 26. 1. The Catholick or universal Church, which 
may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the 
Elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under 
Christ the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the ful- 
ness of Him that filleth all in all. 

"2. All persons throughout the world, professing the faith 
of the Gospel, and obedience to God by Christ, according to 
it, not destroying their own profession by any Errors evert- 
ing the foundation, or unholyness of conversation, are and 
may be called visible Saints; and of such ought all Particular 
Congregations to be constituted." 

This Assembly Confession was adopted by the Philadel- 


A Study in Denominationalism 151 

phia Association in 1742 with two articles on the singing of 
Psalms and on the laying on of hands taken from Benjamin 
Reach's Confession. In America this is known as the Philadel- 
phia Confession and came to be the standard confession of 
the early churches and associations from Philadelphia south- 
ward. It will be seen that in the thinking of those Baptists 
influenced by the Philadelphia Confession there is the 
acknowledgement of the body of Christ called the Church. 
Gradually through the decades that body of Christ was 
thought of as visibly expressed in the larger denominational 
bodies which ultimately came to be associated in a national 

2. General Baptists. The General or Arminian Baptists 
also began to set forth their doctrinal position in order to 
show the government of Charles II, as well as leaders in the 
Church of England, that they held distinct Christian views. 
In their confessional statement of 1678 they have this to say: 
Article 29. "There is one holy catholick church consisting of, 
or made up of the whole number of the elect, that have been, 
are, or shall be gathered, in one body under Christ, the only 
head thereof." In Article 30 they say: "Nevertheless, we be- 
lieve the visible church of Christ on earth, is made up of 
several distinct congregations, which make up that one cath- 
olick church or mystical body of Christ." In Article 39 they 
have this to say of denominational organizations: "General 
councils, or assemblies, consisting of Bishops, Elders, and 
Brethren, of the several churches of Christ, and being legally 
convened, and met together out of all the churches, and the 
churches appearing there by their representatives, make but 
one church, and have lawful right, and suffrage in this gen- 
eral meeting, or assembly, to act in the name of Christ; it 
being of divine authority, and is the best means under heaven 
to preserve unity, to prevent heresy, and superintendency 
among, or in any congregation whatsoever within its own 
limits, or jurisdiction. And to such a meeting, or assembly, 
appeals ought to be made, in case any injustice be done, or 
heresy, and schism countenanced, in any particular congre- 
gation of Christ, and the decisive voice in such general assem- 
blies is the major part, and such general assemblies have law- 
ful power to hear, and determine, as also to excommunicate." 

152 Christian Frontiers 

These General Baptists of England were the first to appear 
in Virginia and North Carolina. It is probable that General 
Baptists were among those who appeared in South Carolina 
in 1683. At any rate, some years later there was a division in 
the Charleston church over questions of Calvinism and Ar- 
minianism. From Virginia and North Carolina an appeal was 
sent to the General Assembly of General Baptists in England 
for ministers and books to be sent them. This appeal appears 
in the Minutes of the General Assembly of 1702. In view of 
the difficulties of ocean travel in those days the probability is 
that these General Baptists appeared in North Carolina be- 
fore 1700, seemingly confirming the statement of Hawkes, 
the Episcopal historian of North Carolina, that there were 
Baptists in North Carolina as early as 1695. The ecclesiology 
of the General Baptists of England appears several decades 
later in the associational life of North Carolina and Virginia. 

3. Separate Baptists. Separate Baptists arose out of the 
Great Awakening in New England. They found their greatest 
expression south of the Potomac. In 1754 a church was gather- 
ed at Sandy Creek, Randolph County, North Carolina, consist- 
ing of sixteen members. The group was led by the two great 
leaders, Shubael Stearnes and Daniel Marshall, brothers-in- 
law. Marshall later went to Georgia and laid the foundations 
of Baptist work there. In 1758 the Sandy Creek Association 
was formed. The work and churches of this association ex- 
tended from the Potomac into Georgia, from the sea-coast 
into the mountains. Preachers and other members moved 
westward and began Baptist work in east and central Ten- 
nessee, and in southern and central Kentucky. 

Stearnes and Marshall came out of the Congregational 
Church in Connecticut which had closely approximated the 
Presbyterian church polity. They evidently brought over into 
their Baptist life elements of connectionalism from the semi- 
Presbyterianism of their previous life. Morgan Edwards says 
of the Sandy Creek Association (1771): "They had carried 
matters so high as to leave hardly any power in particular 
churches, unfellowshipping ordinations, ministers and 
churches that acted independent of them; and pleading 'That 
though compleat power be in every church, yet every church 
can transfer it to an association'." 

A Study in Denominationalism 153 

These three types of Baptists met and mingled in Virginia, 
the Carolinas and Georgia. By missionary activities and 
immigration they were extended to the Mississippi River and 
ultimately into the Southwest. The Particular Baptists set 
forth the thought of a spiritual body of Christ. The General 
Baptists' ecclesiology contributed the thought that that 
spiritual body of Christ takes visible expression in general 
organizations with "Bishops or Messengers" who functioned 
as Executive Secretaries. The Separate Baptists furnished the 
missionary and evangelistic zeal directed by centralized au- 
thority into the far reaches of the South and Southwest. The 
Separate Baptists in Virginia for a period of two years had 
Apostles, who functioned as Bishops. 

II. Historical Conditions in the South 

Christianity may be compared to a long river flowing 
through a continent. The water takes the color of the soil 
through which it flows. Secular conditions — political, econ- 
omic, social and intellectual — give color to Christian thinking 
through the centuries. From the beginning of our civilization 
in the South down to the present day the Southern states 
constitute a distinct entity in America. 

1. The civilization that developed in the South in the 
antebellum period assumed a semi-feudal character. Much of 
the political thinking was influenced by the aristocratic atmos- 
phere of England. In England after the Norman conquest the 
aristocratic life of the nation was founded on land-tenure. 
Prom the beginning of English civilization in the South land- 
holding was counted the basis of the highest social class. The 
large land-holding element dominated political thinking. As 
a consequence, the political life in the South was not so 
democratic as in the North, particularly in New England. In 
regard to Virginia that situation is well set forth by Thomas 
Jefferson in a letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816, in 
answer to a letter of inquiry to Jefferson from Kercheval. 
There was agitation for re-writing the Virginia constitution 
along more democratic lines. The letter is too long to quote 
in full, but all of it must be read in order to get Jefferson's 
picture of the lack of democracy in Virginia. A few quotations 
must suffice. "In the legislature the House of Representatives 

154 Christian Frontiers 

is chosen by less than half the people and not at all in pro- 
portion to those who do choose. The Senate are still more 
disproportionate and for long terms of irresponsibility. In 
the Executive the Governor is entirely independent of the 
choice of the people and their control; his Council equally so 
and at best but a fifth wheel to a wagon. In the judiciary the 
judges of the highest courts are dependent on none but them- 
selves. . . . They are irremovable but by their own body. . . . 
The justices of the inferior courts are self-chosen, are for life, 
and perpetuate their own body in succession forever. . . . Yet 
these justices are the executives as well as the judiciary in 
all minor and most ordinary concerns. They tax us at will; 
fill the office of sheriff. . . . ; name nearly all our military, 
which leaders once named are removable but by themselves. 
The juries, our judges of all fact, and of law when they choose 
it are not selected by the people, nor amenable to them." 
Jefferson goes on to suggest what changes ought to be made 
in order to make the government democratic and responsible 
to the people. He sets forth the New England political setup: 
"These wards, called townships in New England, are the vital 
principles of their governments and have proved themselves 
the wisest invention ever devised by the wit of man for the 
perfect exercise of self-government and for its preservation." 
The Baptist thinking in the South was influenced by this 
political atmosphere. Baptist leaders such as Richard Furman 
of South Carolina and his disciple and successor, W. B. John- 
son, Jesse Mercer of Georgia, less known leaders in North 
Carolina and in Virginia, even J. R. Graves of Tennessee 
(supposed to be the patron saint of the local idea in the word 
church), spoke frequently of the Baptist Church or the Amer- 
ican Baptist Church or the Baptist Church in Tennessee or 
our Church. In the closing decade of the eighteenth century 
and the first three decades of the nineteenth century leaders 
such as Furman and Johnson, with an occasional sympathizer 
in New England, such as Thomas Baldwin, endeavored to 
form an ecclesiastical organization including all of the Baptist 
churches of the United States. Their general plan was set 
forth by Luther Rice in 1814 when he was endeavoring to 
organize American Baptists for the foreign mission project in 
Burma. The general outline was as follows: churches grouped 

A Study in Denominationalism 155 

in associations, the associations grouped in state bodies, the 
state bodies grouped in a national body, all-comprehensive 
in scope and types of work. 

It is quite apparent that the ecclesiological ideas set forth 
by the three types of Baptists already mentioned easily com- 
bined with the political ideas in the South looking toward a 
centralized body of Baptists. 

2. In the post-bellum period the secular conditions in- 
tensified conditions already existing. The reconstruction pro- 
gram of the Federal government forced the South to build 
around itself a wall of defense within which we are still living. 
The post-war struggle to preserve white civilization in the 
South against the carpet baggers and scalawags has influ- 
enced the South to continue a political entity of itself and to 
think in terms of a secluded life. This atmosphere reacted on 
Baptist thinking and has influenced Southern Baptists to 
turn in on themselves and form a solidarity not known among 
Baptists in any other geographical unit. 

3. There was a third historical situation more specifically 
ecclesiastical that entered into the picture. In 1851 J. R. 
Graves began that High Church movement among Southern 
Baptists known as Landmarkism. By 1860 it was in full stride. 
After the war it furnished to Baptist life the ecclesiastical 
counterpart of the politically secluded life of the South. In 
1906 a large group west of the Mississippi River withdrew 
from the Southern Convention on ecclesiastical grounds and 
took the name with them, but much of the influence of Land- 
markism abides in the Convention. 

III. Methods of Denominational Work 

There have been and are two distinct methods among 
Baptists for conducting missions, education, and benevolence. 
These methods have been adopted because of the differences 
in ecclesiology already indicated and because of the difficul- 
ties involved in bringing thousands of local congregations 
into a large cooperative organization — large in geographical 
area and large in objective. 

1. The first method may be called the Society method. 
When cooperative work in foreign missions was called for 
after the conversion of Rice and Judson to Baptist views 

156 Christian Frontieks 

Southern Baptist leaders desired to form an all-comprehen- 
sive national ecclesiastical body to carry on foreign mission 
work, home mission work, and ministerial training. From 
Philadelphia northward the predominant objective was a 
group usually called a society organized for each particular 
phase of work. The compromise at Philadelphia in 1814 re- 
sulted in the General Convention for Foreign Missions. The 
New Englanders with their emphasis upon the local church 
insisted upon a Foreign Mission Society. The Southerners 
with their conception of a larger ecclesiastical body insisted 
upon a convention to do every sort of denominational work. 
The name convention was selected, but its function in 1814 
was limited to foreign missions. From 1814 to 1832 the en- 
deavor was made to enlarge the scope of the General Con- 
vention. In 1824 the Tract Society (later called Publication 
Society) was formed. In 1832 the Home Mission Society was 
formed. From then on the society method seemed to have 
been accepted without further struggle. 

2. The second method of carrying on denominational work 
I call the Convention method. The Convention method pos- 
tulates a denominational organization called a convention 
with a Board appointed to have charge of each particular line 
of work, appointed by the convention, responsible to the con- 
vention, and making periodical reports to the convention. It 
may be easily seen that if and when such a convention is 
formed there may not be any limit to the development of 

When the abolition issue arose a crisis developed in the 
General Convention (foreign missions) and in the Home 
Mission Society. Out of that crisis the Southern Baptist Con- 
vention was formed. With the representation at Augusta in 
1845 composed of Southerners only the long-time Southern 
conception of ecclesiology had a chance to express itself. 
Under the leadership of W. B. Johnson, the heir to the ideas 
of Richard Furman, the Southern Baptist Convention was 
formed, on this all-comprehensive basis. The Fifth Article 
of the Constitution states that "The Convention shall elect at 
each triennial meeting as many Boards of Managers, as in its 
judgment will be necessary for carrying out the benevolent 
objects it may determine to promote." At the time, only 

A Study in Denominationalism 157 

two boards were set up, the Foreign Mission Board and 
the Domestic Mission Board, but under its Constitution from 
the beginning the Southern Convention might enter into any 
line of work it may choose. Through the century of its exist- 
ence the Convention has gradually enlarged its work in the 
direction of benevolence and education until it seemed that 
the Convention had gone beyond its legal authority granted 
in the charter of 1845. Therefore, the Georgia legislature was 
requested to re-interpret the charter in terms of larger 
powers. In 1943 the Georgia legislature passed and the Gov- 
ernor signed An Enabling Act granting any eleemosynary or 
religious corporation heretofore created in Georgia, or here- 
after to be created, further powers. Under that Act every- 
thing the Southern Convention now is doing or may do is 
specified, and after everything to be thought of has been 
specified then the Act says: "And further to do any and every 
thing necessary and proper for the accomplishment of the 
objects herein enumerated and in general to carry on any 
lawful business necessary or incident to the attainment of 
these objects." 

Thus the pre-existing ideas of ecclesiology and the legal 
authorization have combined to give the Southern Baptist 
Convention authority to do anything and everything the 
Convention sees fit to do. 

There is one further ecclesiastical development yet to 
come to full growth. Are our denominational bodies courts of 
appeal from lower bodies? That development has not yet 
taken place, but the movement is on the way. In 1926 an 
amendment to the Constitution of the Southern Baptist Con- 
vention was proposed which, in substance, provided that no 
one could be a member of the Southern Baptist Convention 
who had been denied membership in a state or an association- 
al body. The proposed amendment was referred to a com- 
mittee. This writer called the attention of two or three prom- 
inent leaders of the 'Convention to the danger involved in 
making the Southern Convention a court of appeal from lower 
bodies. The proposed amendment died in committee, no fur- 
ther report having been made. But in 1928 such an amend- 
ment was added to the Constitution of the Baptist General 
Convention of Texas. This change did not specifically make 

158 Christian Frontiers 

the Baptist General Convention a court of appeal from the 
action of any association in Texas in which anyone was denied 
membership, but the door was cracked open. The right to 
approve the action of an association in denying anyone a seat 
involves the right to disapprove. The General Convention, 
rather the enrolling clerk, did exercise the alternative right 
in 1933 and seated messengers from a newly organized church 
in Fort Worth which had been denied representation in the 
Tarrant County Association. When the new Constitution was 
written, in the endeavor to unite the Baptist General Conven- 
tion and the Baptist Missionary Association, 1935, that pro- 
viso was not included; but in 1946 it was proposed at the 
meeting of the Baptist General Convention to amend Section 
1 of Article III of the Constitution to read as follows: "This 
body in all its meetings shall be composed of messengers 
elected by regular missionary Baptist Churches that are in 
voluntary cooperation and fellowship with other churches in 
like faith in their respective associations for the work and 
purpose set forth in Article III of this Constitution." The 
Recording Secretary placed a note after this item in the 
Minutes to the effect that this proposed amendment was never 
voted on by the Convention. The fact that the amendment 
was proposed indicates that such thinking is current among 
us. Our people are thinking in terms of a closely articulated 
denominational system; that is to say, that a church should 
be affiliated with an association in order that it may be rep- 
resented in the state body and likewise that such state repre- 
sentation is prerequisite to representation in the Southern 
Baptist Convention. Such development has not come, but the 
thinking is in that direction. 

Thus it may be seen that out of the historical background 
of ideas of ecclesiology in the first century and a half of 
Southern Baptist life, influenced by external secular circum- 
stances and developed in the process of actual administration 
of the work of the Convention, further intensified by contro- 
versies, more or less bitter, that have arisen particularly in 
the Southwest, there has gone far a development toward 
centralized thinking and administration. If the history of the 
past two hundred years indicates any direction for the future, 
a developed ecclesiastical system is on the way. 

"Thy Kingdom Come" 

Rev. C. S. Gardner, D.D. 

"Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not 
the things which I say." — Luke 6:46 

THE Kingdom of God is a concept which no age has 
adequately understood. But the enlarging experience 
of the human race reveals new depths of riches in it. I do not 
now profess to comprehend it in all the wealth of its implica- 
tions. But there are certain phases of its meaning, answering 
the needs of our present-day life, which I wish to state. 

It is an ideal system of personal relationships centering 
in the Supreme Person, God. One cannot read the words of 
Jesus without being impressed with the fact that the one 
significant thing in this universe to Him is personality, and 
its realization in the relation of persons to one another. The 
one enterprise of God is the building up of ideal relations 
between men, perfected through their relations to God; or to 
reverse the statement, the establishment of perfect relations 
between men and God, manifested and realized in ideal re- 
lations among men. The real business of God is not the build- 
ing of a material universe, magnificent as that is. Plants, 
animals, rivers, plains and hills, seas and continents, planets 
and suns, all are glorious to contemplate, and body forth the 
richness of His thought and the vastness of His power. But 
that is only scaffolding for the real structure which God is 
erecting — a divine human organization of persons — before 
the glory of which the wonders of the material universe be- 
come commonplace. 

The principle of this divine-human organization of per- 
sons is love. Genuine righteousness, positive righteousness, 
is only the practice of love — the love of one's neighbor as 
one's self, perfected in their loving loyalty to God, who is the 
central person in this system of righteousness. To organize 
this divine system of personal relationships was the mission 
of Jesus Christ in this world. For this He taught, lived, and 
died. For this He ever lives again. For this He bids His fol- 


160 Christian Frontiers 

lowers labor and toil and spend their lives. This is the divine 
enterprise. Its fulfillment is the goal of the whole creative 
process which started when the original chaos of matter be- 
gan its development into a Cosmos; and will end only when 
the chaos of the moral universe shall, through the energy of 
the same Spirit, evolve into a moral Cosmos. 

Wherever, then, the relations of men to God are not right, 
wherever the relations of men to men are not right, there is 
a task for the Kingdom. There we should be working for the 
Kingdom to come. 

First among the instrumentalities for its realization is the 
church. This is the instrument created especially for building 
the Kingdom. Two dangerous errors are to be guarded against 
here. One is the false idea that the church, the specific re- 
ligious institution, is not needed. A churchless Christianity 
could never have won a hearing from the reluctant ears of 
men, nor brought their rebellious hearts to capitulation, nor 
uprooted ideas and codes, nor destroyed social institutions 
which were hoary with age and fortified with material power. 
For such tasks the Kingdom needed an effective instrument, 
and that instrument was, and still is, a church. 

A second error is the false idea that the church is identical 
with the Kingdom. This is the principle of the Roman per- 
version of religion. There is ever present in human nature a 
tendency to attach to the means the value which belongs only 
to the end. And whenever this takes place, the real end is 
lost sight of and there results a ruinous inversion of values. 
The means, having absorbed the value of the end, is no longer 
instrumental to that end, but becomes the most effective 
obstruction of it. And so the ecclesiastical organization, when 
it becomes an end in itself, obstructs the progress of the 

In addition to the church, the Kingdom, as it progresses, 
creates other subsidiary organs. Many forms of healthful 
activity for the uplift of men spring up and prove to be more 
or less efficient as instruments for the realization of the broad 
purposes of Jesus Christ. Moreover, as the Kingdom grows, 
it pervades the whole life of man, penetrates and dominates, 
uses more and more the organs of individual and collective 
life. As the process goes on, all forms of activity, all institu- 

'Thy Kingdom Come" 161 

tions, fall gradually under the sway of the King, do their 
work more and more in His spirit and become instrumental 
in building up the Kingdom. It is like the spread of a con- 
flagration. The church is the lighted torch that starts the fire 
here and there and yonder. But as one great structure after 
another is wrapped in flames, it becomes a center of propaga- 
tion and flings its sparks upon the disseminating winds. But 
this is a figure of destruction. The church is perhaps more 
like a spiritual battery which maintains itself distinct from 
other institutions, but charges them with its ideals, and they 
thus become centers of moral energy and radiate ethical and 
spiritual power. They are first mastered by the Kingdom, and 
then used, each according to its own nature and function, as 
instruments for its propagation. 

Broadly speaking, there are two methods by which the 
Kingdom grows. The first is evangelization, the bringing of 
men into the Kingdom. The first step is, of necessity, to bring 
men into allegiance to the King: to naturalize them, so to 
speak, as his subjects. Or, if we think of the process in educa- 
tional terms, as Jesus seemed to be doing when He gave the 
great commission, men must first be enrolled in the school 
of Christ, made disciples, before the process of instruction 
can proceed. Instruction and training must precede the great 
hour when the individual will, having been enlightened as 
to its fundamental obligations to God and men, reaches, 
through the operation of the divine Spirit, a personal decision 
to obey God and live for others. This education leading to 
decision is the initial step in the building of the Kingdom. 

Then there is a second step, namely, the reorganization 
of society. In any deliberate, systematic attempt to reorganize 
social ideals and social institutions one must begin with 
individuals. The individual is the point of emphasis, of acute 
accent, in the whole scheme of Jesus. Individuals alone have 
souls. Only in the individual is consciousness found. Apart 
from the individual consciousness, society is merely an ab- 
straction. Apart from individual consciousness, an institution 
cannot be happy or miserable, cannot perceive and appreciate 
the difference between right and wrong, cannot have ideals, 
cannot be saved or lost, cannot have any experience at all. 
The individual is the unit of value in the divine scheme of 

162 Christian Frontiers 

life. What are called social values, social realities of any kind, 
have meaning only as they are registered in the conscious- 
ness of individuals. But nobody has ever realized more dis- 
tinctly and intensely than our Lord that you cannot deal 
intelligently and effectively with the individual without 
affecting the social group and the social order of which he is 
a member, and it is perfectly patent to the student of His 
teaching and life that His plan includes in its scope both the 
regeneration of the individual and the transformation of the 
social order. 

One enters the Kingdom when he accepts Jesus as Lord. 
But is that all? Is the matter settled by the simple acknowl- 
edgement of the Lordship of Jesus? With something of fine 
scorn He says: "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the 
things which I say?" It is not the unctuous declaration of 
His Lordship for which He is concerned. He is not interested 
in titles. Least of all is He ambitious to wear them and exploit 
them. How pitifully inadequate are our verbal ascriptions 
of honor! What he seeks is something far more real; namely, 
to get certain things done, to have his followers actually do 
the will of God in all their human relations, to embody the 
principle of righteousness — the practice of love — in all their 
lives; and this leads straight to the reorganization of human 
society. The evangelization which does not become social 
transformation is abortive, because it amounts to nothing 
more than the multiplication of those who say, "Lord, Lord" 
and do not the things which He says. 

Nor is it the theoretical demonstration of His Lordship 
for which He is solicitious. I am far from disparaging the 
efforts of those who are giving energy and thought to the 
vindication of the Lordship of Jesus on theological grounds. 
There is no question but that modern philosophy has made 
necessary such a defense of our historic Christology. But as 
I see it, the fundamental need today is not the vindication of 
the position of Jesus in a metaphysical conception of the 
universe. It is rather the practical vindication of His suprem- 
acy in the sphere of human conduct, in the realm of social 
relations. It is not the shouting of "Lord, Lord," either in 
the tones of pious rhapsody or in the learned terminology of 
the schools, but it is the doing of what He says in all the 

"Thy Kingdom Come" 163 

spheres and relationships of life. If we refuse to see, are too 
timid to assert the plain social implications of our religion; 
if we are lacking in the spiritual nerve to make a bold appli- 
cation of the principles of the Kingdom of God to the spheres 
of politics and economics, we stand by consenting while the 
crown is taken from the brow of Jesus Christ. Nor can we 
avert the deep disgrace of this treasonable acquiescence by 
making more vociferous our cries of "Lord, Lord." 

We are living a highly differentiated life today. Our 
activities are divided up into clearly distinguished segments. 
The same person is a domestic man, a political man, an 
economic man, a religious man, etc. Each of these main 
sections of his life is subdivided into an indefinite number 
of smaller sections. Many men are trying to live according to 
one standard in one section of their lives and other standards 
in other sections. 

Hence you see the double standard, or rather multiple 
standard of conduct in many lives. The situation affords an 
ample opportunity to ease our conscience by cutting out 
great sections of life and setting them aside as spheres in 
which religion is not expected to operate; in which the ethics 
of Jesus do not apply; which are not included within the 
rule of the Kingdom of God. And when men begin this prac- 
tice of excluding sections of life from the rule of the King- 
dom they always exclude from the religious jurisdiction 
activities in which they are deeply and practically interested, 
which absorb the greater portion of their time and energy. 
Over the continents of life they unfurl the flag of the sec- 
ular — a vast domain which is to be governed by the ancient 
law of "Every man for himself," a law copied from the brute 
world, but dignified as the vital principle of economic and 
political life. On a few detached and rocky islands, situated in 
the stormy seas, they erect the flag of religion. They consent 
that the whole of that heavenly world, about which they 
have no very distinct ideas except that no millions are there 
to be won, and no political offices and plunder are for sale, 
may be turned over to the practice of the principles of Christ.' 
The greatest of all heresies is this practice of running an 
imaginary line across life and placing its divisions under 
different sovereignties. We are told that religion has no 

164 Christian Frontiers 

authority to speak on the economic and political problems 
that are shaking our social order down to its foundations: 
that the proper sphere for its sway lies elsewhere. But if we 
accept such a superficial and arbitrary splitting of our lives 
into unrelated fractions and withdraw to the side of life which 
is technically called religious, the problem only takes a dif- 
ferent form and attacks us in our fancied seclusion. For 
economic and political difficulties project their disturbing 
influences across the line into the area reserved for religion 
and play havoc with the spiritual power and efficiency and 
peace of the churches. It is not a religious matter, we are 
told. But nevertheless the economic and political evils of our 
time are sweeping great masses of the people out of the 
churches, and alienating from organized religion the very 
elements of the population which flocked around Jesus and 
responded to his gracious words. 

Or the effort is made to set apart a specific religious area 
in life by applying another principle of division. A man's 
life is made up on the one hand of simple personal, individual 
contacts and relations with his fellows; and, on the other 
hand, of corporate, institutional relations. In the one set of 
relations his life is not organized. He is just a man among 
his fellows. In the other his life is organized as a part of a 
system. He is dove-tailed into a more or less rigid social 
order. On the one side is free personal life; on the other is 
institutional life, in which he is not free. Now, there is a 
tendency to regard the principles of Christianity as applicable 
only in free personal relations. There are many men who live 
by different standards in these departments of action. They 
will do things as members of a corporation or institution 
which they would by no means consent to do as individual 
men dealing with their fellows. Institutional or corporate 
action is not subject to the law of Christ. According to this 
view, corporations have no souls. Institutions are non-moral 
entities; they are not included in the scope of the Kingdom 
of God. 

Away with such subterfuges! A corporation has as many 
souls as there are individuals in the corporation. The exten- 
sion of the dominion of the Kingdom of God over these cor- 
porations is one of the great religious tasks of our time. 

("Thy Kingdom Come" will be continued in the June CHRISTIAN FRONTIERS. 



"The most important publica- 
tion of 1946" was the publisher's 
statement accompanying the re- 
lease of The Revised Standard 
Version of the New Testament. 
In a moment of reckless enthu- 
siasm one is tempted to predict 
that the Interseminary Series 
will prove to be the most im- 
portant religious publication in 
1947. In these volumes is laid 
the groundwork of study for a 
conference of students and pro- 
fessors from 125 American theo- 
logical seminaries to be held at 
Miami University in Oxford, 
Ohio, in June. Written in collab- 
oration by 34 of the most emi- 
nent theological scholars the 
Interseminary Series represents 
a comprehensive coming-to-grasp 
with the task, nature and mes- 
sage of the Church in the mod- 
ern world. "Each of these vol- 
umes," according to the Christian 
Century, "is the product of the 
collective thinking of a large and 
representative commission and is 
a symposium of chapters by a 
dozen or more writers. The list 
of authors reads like a who's who 
among American religious think- 
ers, with the younger element 
somewhat more prominently rep- 
resented, as it should be. . . . 
[The Series] is the intellectual 
foundation of a movement which 
should be much in the minds of 
thinking people during the next 
twelve months." The first volume 
deals with the "challenge of our 
culture" and "the church and 
organized movements." The sec- 
ond volume discusses "the gospel, 

the church and the world" and 
"ecumenical Christianity." For 
all for whom the preaching of 
the gospel in our day requires 
deep and clear thinking here is 
a "must." And here too can be 
an experience like Keats' when 
he first looked into Chapman's 
Homer. New galaxies of religious 
thought and challenge will swim 
into the reader's ken. 

Christian Faith and My Job, 
Alexander Miller, New York, 
Association Press, 1946, 60 pages, 

The colleges of America are 
faced with crucial problems due 
to overcrowded facilities and in- 
creased enrollments. Under the 
"G.I. Bill" many veterans are 
pursuing college courses who 
otherwise would not have done 
so. What the colleges face to- 
day, the communities of America 
must face tomorrow. These young 
men and women who graduate 
will be returning home with 
college degrees, which for many 
will represent a special kind of 
license to the most desirable jobs 
in the community. The class and 
caste system of the average 
Southern town will be subject 
to severe strains. 

Traveling through New Eng- 
land, one is delighted to drive up 
to a garage and, in conversation, 
discover that the mechanic work- 
ing on the spare-tire is a graduate 
of Amherst, a member of the 
local Town Meeting, a Rotarian, 
and Chairman of the Hospital 
Board. The average Southern 
town would be surprised by the 
college graduate who chose to 


Christian Frontiers 

work as a mechanic. It would 
be expected that he return to 
publish the local newspaper or 
establish a jewelry shop. How 
can we provide significant status 
to all vocational choices so that 
these graduates can work where 
they are best fitted vocationally, 
and still render significant lead- 
ership in the community? 

The problem, of course, has 
two facets: one, how is one to 
choose a vocation? and two, how 
can society adjust its attitudes 
toward the choice? In Christian 
Faith and My Job, Alexander 
Miller discusses these two as- 
pects of the problem. The book 
is an attempt "To relate the 
Christian Understanding of life 
in the world to the problems of 
personal conduct in an industrial- 
ized, highly competitive, and 
often immoral society." 

It is a failure of the Christian 
Church that the term "Christian 
Vocation" has been used almost 
exclusively to mean a missionary, 
a preacher, or a teacher of re- 
ligion. The average Church has 
spent little time evaluating the 
"Christian Vocation" involved in 
weaving cloth, making a shirt, 
and marketing a shirt. Miller's 
attempt to show how the claim 
of Christ is related to all of life 
will be a good corrective to much 
of our incomplete Christian 
teaching regarding the signifi- 
cance of vocational choice. 

"Any serious acceptance of the 
claim of Christ will mean that 
we let him choose our job for 
us," and "Every Christian brings 
an acceptable offering to God, 
whether it be in the common 
worship of the people or in the 

work of their hands. And just 
as their prayers are acceptable 
to God equally with those of the 
minister, so the work of their 
hands — be it making or mending, 
tilling or building, teaching 
children or administering justice 
— is acceptable to God." 

Here are sixty pages that will 
be an answer to prayer for those 
interested in either helping a 
young person select a job, or re- 
vealing to a congregation the 
deeper meaning of Christian 

On Final Ground. 

By Harold A. Bosley. 

New York. 

Harper and Brothers, 1946. 

pp. 260. Sermons. $2. 

Can it be that these 22 sermons 
are typical of the preaching of 
Harold A. Bosley? Are these the 
kind of sermons that go out from 
the pulpit of the Mount Vernon 
Place Methodist Church in Bal- 
timore from Sunday to Sunday? 
If so, then Baltimore can take 
it! For here is no infant diet of 
milk, but solid meat. 

There are two sermons on the 
authority of the Bible, two on 
the authority of Jesus Christ, 
two on the authority of the 
church; three on prayer, plus 
"God the Distant Drummer," 
"Where Judgment Begins," "New 
Devils for Old," "If Anywhere, 
Then Everywhere," "Preaching 
Where the Ways Part," and 
eight others. 

This is preaching addressed to 
man as a rational human being. 
If one comes looking for clarity 
of analysis, then he will be well 
rewarded. J. Winston Pearce 



Winter Park (RNS)— Vigorous 
protest against proposed "white 
primary" legislation for Florida 
was voiced by a state-wide meet- 
ing here under auspices of the 
Southern Conference for Human 

Some 250 leaders in church, 
labor, educational, veterans, and 
other groups throughout the state 
adopted unanimously a resolution 
opposing "wholeheartedly the un- 
scientific, irreligious and un- 
American fallacy that Govern- 
ment can be improved by deny- 
ing to any group of citizens the 
right to vote on the basis of race, 
color, creed or economic status." 

"The issue is not one of black 
or white supremacy, but one of 
the supremacy of right," declared 
the Rev. Daniel C. Whitsett, pas- 
tor, First Methodist church, 
Marianna, and chairman of the 

Dr. Hamilton Holt, president of 
Rollins College, told the group 
that "we do not need the white 
primary in Florida" or in any 
other part of the United States 
where politicians are "trying to 
get around the clear-cut decision 
of the Supreme Court of the 
United States" against such meas- 

The Rev. Louis Schulz, pastor 
of the Congregational church 
here, warned that removal of pri- 
maries from state supervision 
"wfculd mean that Florida was 
succumbing with Georgia and 
Mississippi to the fascist program 
of Talmadge and Bilbo." 

Describing the bill which State 
Senator John E. Matthews is to 
introduce in the Florida Legisla- 
ture, convening April 8, as a 
"basic threat to democracy and 
Christian values," Dr. James A. 
Dombrowski, New Orleans, ad- 
ministrator of the Southern Con- 
ference for Human Welfare, in- 
sisted that there should be no 
restrictions on voting other than 

A committee called the "Con- 
ference for Human Welfare, in- 
Florida" was set up to work 
against the Jim Crow measure in 
each of the six Congressional 
districts in the state. 


Franklin, N. H. (RNS)— A rec- 
ommendation that this commu- 
nity make public - school text- 
books available to parochial 
school pupils has been presented 
here by Eugene S. Daniells, Jr., 
local attorney. 

Mr. Daniells said he based his 
proposal on the recent Supreme 
Court decision which ruled that 
New Jersey can use public funds 
to transport parochial school 
children, and on a Louisiana de- 
cision permitting textbooks to be 
furnished to private school stu- 
dents out of tax revenues. 

Mayor Henry J. Prould, in 
reply, said the public school sys- 
tem here has no provision for 
such an item in its budget. He 
added, however, he thought it 
possible for the Franklin City 
Council to make textbooks avail- 
able to parochial schools without 
a decision from the state legisla- 


Christian Frontiers 

The mayor pointed out that 
transportation of parochial school 
pupils at public expense is al- 
ready provided for here and is 
common practice under a state 
law passed several years ago. 


Philadelphia (RNS)— The Penn- 
sylvania Baptist Convention has 
invited Negro Baptist churches 
all over the state "to full mem- 
bership and fellowship" in the 
Convention's various associa- 

The invitation was extended 
through the Rev. Edwin H. Frey, 
of Bethlehem, Pa., chairman of 
the Christian Friendliness Com- 
mittee of the Convention. Bap- 
tist associations have been asked 
to invite their Negro co-religion- 
ists to share committee respon- 


Boston (RNS) — Joining with 
the C.I.O. and A.F. of L. in their 
stand, the Rev. Thomas E. Shor- 
ten, S.J., of Holy Cross College, 
public representative of Gover- 
nor Bradford's committee on la- 
bor management relations, con- 
demned legislation to outlaw the 
closed shop in union contracts. 

"The bargaining down of wages 
will result in lower living stand- 
ards and lower productive out- 
put because of increased strife 
between union and non-union 
members," he told the committee 
on labor and industries of the 
Massachusetts legislature. 

Father Shortell suggested that 
the enemies of labor would do 
the public a service if they de- 
voted less time and money to 
fighting the trade union move- 
ment and more to promoting 
labor - management understand- 
ing. He pointed to England and 
Sweden as countries where labor- 
management understanding has 


Birmingham, Ala. (RNS)— The 
Birmingham Baptist Pastors' 
Conference went on record here 
as favoring a national organiza- 
tion to "combat every attempt to 
invalidate the American Bill of 
Rights and its corollary, the sep- 
aration of church and state." 

The pastors requested the Bap- 
tist Joint Conference Committee 
on Public Relations "to approach 
the Federal Council of Churches 
and all Protestant denominations, 
the Jews, the Masons and other 
groups," regarding formation of 
such a national organization. 


Columbia, S. C. (RNS)— South 
Carolinians will vote in a refer- 
endum in 1948 on whether the 
state's 50-year ban on divorce 
will be removed by constitutional 

The general assembly has pass- 
ed a concurrent resolution call- 
ing for the referendum to deter- 
mine whether divorces will be 
granted on grounds of adultery, 
physical cruelty, desertion or 
habitual drunkenness. 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 
Vol. II JUNE, 1947 No. 6 


Das Kelley Barnett, Editor-in-Chief 
William W. Finlator, Associate Editor William M. Poteat, Book Editor 
Almonte C. Howell, Advisory Editor Marjorie E. Moore, Advisory Editor 

J. O. Bailey, Managing Editor Sara Lowrey, Poetry Editor 


W. O. Carver, Louisville, Ky. 

H. B. Cross, Nashville, Tenn. Swan Hayworth, Vicksburg, Miss. 

George B. Cutten, Chapel Hill, N. C. Withrow T. Holland, Haynesville, La. 

J. M. Dawson, Washington, DC. ^^ j MoNCEIEF> st . Joseph> Mo . 
Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. 

Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C. Bla *e Smith, Austin, Texas 

J. C. Wilkinson, Athens, Georgia Hubert R. Howard, Jr., Tulsa, Okla. 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 
Fred B. Helms John McGinnis 

Carl Lee Ousley Warren Carr 

R. K. Redwine A. C. McCall 

Wilbur W. Hutchins 


Editorials 171 

Some Reflections on the 

Ecumenical Movement W. O. Carver 174 

"Thy Kingdom Come" Rev. C. S. Gardner 178 

They Made Me a Criminal 182 

What Do You Mean — "A Good 

Hymn"? Thane McDonald 187 

Our Southern Baptist Friends Dr. W. Earle Smith 190 

Worms and Men C. L. Guthrie 194 

Books 195 

The Money Changers C. L. Guthrie 198 

News 199 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July and August) by the Baptist 
Book Club, a non-profit fellowship of ministers and laymen. Address all corres- 
pondence to Box 508, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 by the Baptist 
Book Club. Entered as second class matter February 6, 1947 at the post office at 
Chapel Hill, N. C. under the Act of March 3, 1879. Subscription price, two dollars 
a year; twenty-five cents a copy. Printed by The Graphic Press, Inc., Raleigh, N.C. 

Who's Who In This Issue 

W. 0. CARVER of Louisville, Kentucky, is Professor 
Emeritus of Missions at the Southern Baptist Theological 

C. S. GARDNER, whose article is continued in this issue, 
was for many years Professor of Homiletics and taught the 
first courses in Christian Sociology at the Southern Baptist 
Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. 

THANE McDONALD is a teacher of music in Wake 
Forest College. 

W. EARLE SMITH is Secretary of City Missions for the 
Northern Baptist Convention at San Francisco. 

C. L. GUTHRIE is a Deacon of Saxon Baptist Church, 
Spartanburg, S. C. 

WILLIAM M. POTEAT is the Book Editor of Christian 
Frontiers and the Associate Secretary of the Y.M.C.A. in 
Chapel Hill, N. C. 


Conscientious Objectors Again 

ON FRIDAY, May 17, 1946, the Southern Baptist Con- 
vention, meeting in Miami, Florida, adopted the 
following recommendation of the Social Service Commission 
concerning Conscientious Objectors: 

"Whereas request comes from National Service Board for 
Religious Objectors that the Southern Baptist Convention 
take under consideration the service rendered during the 
war by other denominations to conscientious objectors 
who were members of the Southern Baptist churches, and 
the expense they incurred in that service, and 
"Whereas the churches of our Convention have not fully 
reimbursed the agencies who lent assistance to the mem- 
bers, and the Convention itself has taken no direct action 
in the matter beyond acting as a receiver of voluntary 

"We recommend that the Executive Committee of the 
Convention be requested to study the facts of the situation 
and take such action as in its judgment the Convention 
should rightfully take in the matter." 
It is our understanding that when the Executive Com- 
mittee considered this recommendation, they passed it on to 
the Public Relations Committee for study. 

The Committee on Public Relations brought back the 
recommendation that $17,708.00 be paid to the Brethren 
Service Commission as reimbursement for funds expended 
by them for food and clothing on behalf of approximately 
fifty Southern Baptist C.O.'s during the war. But this $17,- 
708.00 was to be paid from the fund raised by Southern 
Baptists for world relief, with the understanding that it 
would be used by the Brethren Service Commission for 
world relief. This recommendation did not pass the Executive 
Committee, and a vote of "no action" was taken. 

In an editorial "Christianity in Spite of the Churches," 
appearing in the February issue of Christian Frontiers, the 


172 Christian Frontiers 

following comment concerning the action of the Executive 
Committee was made: 

"The vote 'no action' on a recommendation to reimburse 
the Brethren Service Commission $17,708 for food and 
clothing furnished 45 Baptist conscientious objectors dur- 
ing the war is another question. Though our indignation 
is far from spent, proportion and propriety enforce a 
restraint which permits us but to say that it is an honest 
debt dishonestly disavowed." 

As a matter of fact, the Executive Committee cannot be 
charged with the disavowal of an honest debt, since neither 
the Executive Committee nor the Southern Baptist Conven- 
tion had officially promised to reimburse the Brethren Service 
Commission. Christian Frontiers erred in this statement, and 
we offer our sincere apologies to the Executive Committee 
for the publication of this charge. 

The subject goes far beyond the question of dollars and 
cents. In fact, the whole problem of the Southern Baptist 
C.O.'s has been passed around long enough from one com- 
mittee to another. 

Some questions come to mind. Why did the Social Service 
Commission refer this question to the Executive Committee 
in the first place? Why did the Executive Committee pass it 
on to the Public Relations Committee? Was not the Executive 
Committee empowered by the Convention to make a study of 
the situation and take action? Another question: Why did 
the Public Relations Committee recommend an impossible 
action? Obviously the Executive Committee had no power to 
divert funds from the offering raised by Southern Baptists 
for world relief to the Brethren Service Commission. In all 
charity, it seems to us that from the beginning an atmosphere 
of evasion has characterized the action of the various com- 
mittees dealing with this matter. 

The editorial policy of Christian Frontiers is not pacifistic, 
but it is Baptistic. From the whipping posts of New England 
and the jails of Virginia, Baptists have affirmed the primacy 
of the individual conscience over the demands of the in- 
stitutional church and the totalitarian state. It was because 
they belonged to the heritage of freedom nurtured by the 

Editorial 173 

Baptist tradition that some fifty Southern Baptists followed 
the dictates of their consciences and registered as C.O.'s. 
Southern Baptists trained them to be free, but the Brethren 
Service Commission paid the price of their freedom. Shall 
Baptists, the guardians of religious freedom, disown their 
own sons? 

Again and again we have voted for the principle of the 
separation of the church and state. At the present time we 
are actively resisting the subsidy of parochial schools by the 
public funds of the state. In this struggle it is well to re- 
member that the separation of church and state is a two- 
edged sword. The church has no right to use the state as a 
means to its ends. Nor does the state have the right to 
suppress and intimidate the conscience of the individual 

What better evidence could Southern Baptists give of 
their sincerity in the struggle for religious freedom than by 
voluntarily reimbursing the Brethren Service Commission 
for their expenditure on behalf of the freedom of our sons? 

There is no legal obligation to demand this action. The 
Conscientious Objectors have not requested our support, nor 
has the Brethren Service Commission presented us with a 
bill. This, like all great questions, lies beyond the demands 
of law, in the realm of honor. 

Christian Frontiers, therefore, recommends that the names 
and church affiliation of all Southern Baptist C.O.'s, now being 
secured by the Executive Committee, be placed in the hands 
of the Social Service Commission and that the Social Service 
Commission recommend to the Convention meeting in Mem- 
phis that the Brethren Service Commission be reimbursed in 
full for all expenditures made by them on behalf of bona fide 
Southern Baptists. 

In the event the Social Service Commission does not see 
fit to reopen this matter, Christian Frontiers advocates that 
Baptists all over the South send funds to the Executive Com- 
mittee to be used in reimbursing the Brethren Social Service 
Commission for their contribution. 

Some Reflections on the Ecumenical 

W. 0. Carver 

THE FOLLOWING reflections have in mind the 
■*• significance of the ecumenical movement in current 
Christendom for Southern Baptists, and the significance of 
Southern Baptists for the movement. 

I. Attitudes 

Relatively few Southern Baptists know much that is 
definite and accurate about the movement. The general 
attitudes toward it are, first and most prevalent, indifference; 
second, fear or antagonism; third, curiosity concerning the 
restlessness, confusion, and earnestness of Protestants in their 
desire to find ways to overcome weaknesses in the whole 
evangelical system and to make the influence of the evangel- 
ical faith more effective in meeting the needs of a distracted 
world seeking some secure basis for unity, peace, and ways 
of living in this age of terror and hope. Finally, there is a 
small but growing number on whose souls rests heavily the 
prayer of Our Lord for the complete and perfect unity of all 
believers in Him and His mission in a world that did not 
know His Father, and who suffer in spirit over that "divided 
state of Christendom" which oppressed William Carey as he 
sought a way for the followers of Christ to obey His world- 

Most Southern Baptists have not experienced any painful 
pressure under the present conditions of the world and of 
the churches of Christ. Very few of us have seen or even 
heard of the voluminous quarterly Christendom, now in its 
twelfth year, published by the American Committee for the 
World Council of Churches. Just now this magazine is espe- 
cially interesting in view of the plans to set up the World 
Council, at a meeting of the Assembly in Holland during two 
weeks in the late summer of 1948. Plans for this meeting are 
already far advanced. Its main theme has been chosen, "Man's 
Disorder and God's Design." Four sub-topics have been for- 


Some Reflections on the Ecumenical Movement 175 

mulated under which all discussions will be planned: 1, "The 
Universal Church in God's Design"; 2, "God's Design and 
Man's Witness"; 3, "The Church and the Disorder of Society"; 
and 4, "The Church and International Affairs." Details of 
the programs to be followed are also well advanced. 

The Assembly will be set up under the "provisional con- 
stitution" adopted at Utrecht in 1938. The Assembly will 
then be free to amend this constitution and to map its course. 
A budget of $100,000 is being provided for the expenses of 
this meeting. All this is adequately set forth by Dr. Van 
Dusen in the Winter, 1947, number of Christendom. 

More Southern Baptists know The Christian Century, with 
its urgent insistence on church union. Few issues of that 
weekly now appear without discussion of this great concern. 

Among many other sources of information and discussion 
concerning the movement for unity and union two are im- 
portant. The Congregational Quarterly (London) for January, 
1947, has a most able article by A. N. Knowland raising the 
question of "Institution or Fellowship." Here is a distinction 
which seems sadly ignored by most proponents of church 
union, but one that must be fairly faced before we can get 
much farther on the road to agreement. The Chicago Theol- 
ogical Seminary, Congregational, a part of the Federated 
Theological Schools in the University of Chicago, publishes 
a monthly magazine designed primarily for its alumni, but of 
general interest. The number for March, 1947, is chiefly de- 
voted to "The Merger," proposed and now far advanced to- 
ward decision, of the "Evangelical and Reformed Church" 
(itself a merger of about two years' standing and still not 
wholly stabilized) and the Congregational Christian Churches 
(another merger of longer standing and definitely establish- 
ed). Nearly all the articles are friendly to the merger, some 
of them strongly urging it, some refuting objections. But the 
opposition has vigorous statement in two brief papers. 

President McGiffert contributes an able and balanced dis- 
cussion of the larger question of "Protestantism and Organic 
Union." He brings his readers face to face with the funda- 
mental differences among the distinctive ecclesiologies and 
ecclesiastical systems. Too many of the enthusiasts for union 
and pleaders for the "one Church" ignore these differences. 

176 Christian Frontiers 

By appeal to powerful sentiment urging the unity of all be- 
lievers and the practical demand for united effort, these 
advocates would have all of us ignore our history and our 
distinctive convictions. Here is the paradox of Protestantism 
in this matter. It owes its existence to convictions which 
compelled divergence, and now it is embarrassed by reason 
of these divergencies and the consequent divisions. Certainly 
the whole situation — its history, its present confusion, and 
its challenge for the future — demands a most serious re- 
thinking of the positions of all denominations. 

II. Demand for Thorough Thinking 

In that rethinking no Christian end is served by pretend- 
ing that Congregationalism, Presbyterianism, and Episcopacy 
are matters of indifference. It is blind optimism to think 
they can all be incorporated into one system. Dr. McGiffert's 
emphasis on this point is definitely needed at the present 
stage of the movement for a "United Church." 

The "General Council of the Congregational Christian 
Churches" in 1946 petitioned the Federal Council of the 
Churches of Christ, and was a little later seconded in its plea 
by the "International Convention of the Disciples of Christ," 
to call "a plenary conference of representatives of American 
Churches to consider the immediate possibility of closer 
unity" among "those denominations which already accord 
one another mutual recognition of ministries and sacra- 
ments." The Federal Council has complied with this request 
and has directed such an invitation to each of the major 
denominations. The Christian Century, with characteristic 
zeal, is pressing hard for the necessity this step places upon 
every denomination to give answer promptly. 

III. Observations 

1. One might raise the question whether any group has 
the right to pose a question and demand that denominations 
which had no part in producing the situation give an answer. 

2. A far more important question is: What of those de- 
nominations for which "ministries and sacraments" are not 
of the essence of the church? In any case, both terms must be 

Some Reflections on the Ecumenical Movement 177 

defined before the matter of their "recognition" can be con- 

3. If it is a matter of co-operation in forms of Christian 
work and world-service, matters of "ministries and sacra- 
ments" ought not to be presented as of first consideration. 
Only if we are thinking of the Church as an institution, of its 
"faith," "order," and gradation in ecclesiastical standing, 
could this be of primary importance. If the proposed "plenary 
conference" is expected to set up the one organic and or- 
ganized Church, the plan may be given up at once, or post- 
poned until we have gone much farther along the road to 
unity than we now are. 

4. The "World Council of Churches" must adhere to its 
announced policy of co-operation of "Churches" in common 
enterprises and witness. Only if it does this can there be any 
hope of its gaining general approval. The whole matter of 
definition of "Church" and "church" is here involved, and 
the evasion of such definition is a fatal weakness in the 
workers for union. 

5. Southern Baptists are in the habit of declining all 
serious consideration of movements looking to union or to 
sustained and ordered co-operation. The plausible position 
is: "Let us attend to our own business, do our own work, 
and avoid all complicating alliances." Surely Baptists and all 
other "-ists" should attend strictly and faithfully to their own 
business. But is that business fully understood and fully 
accepted? Is it no business of ours that Jesus our Lord prayed 
agonizingly for the full unity of all His followers? Is it no 
part of our business to share our insights and convictions with 
fellow Christians and to receive from them such values as the 
Holy Spirit has developed in other groups? Is it of no concern 
to us that we know but little, if at all, of that "love toward 
all the saints" which Paul accounted of supreme importance? 
Do we not deceive ourselves if we profess "spiritual unity 
with all believers" so long as there is no concrete form in 
which we can give expression to that unity? It is unfaithful 
to take refuge in vain abstractions from imperative obliga- 
tions imposed upon us by the Spirit of our Lord. We cannot 
go the ways proposed, but we should not refuse to seek a way 
we can go with other friends of Jesus. 

"Thy Kingdom Come" 

Rev. C. S. Gardner 
(This article is continued from the May Christian Frontiers.) 

A ] 

N INSTITUTION or a corporation which is dominated 
by an evil ideal, or in which is embodied an evil 
principle, is one of the greatest possible agencies for the 
spiritual ruin of men. When sin is organized into an institu- 
tion or corporation, it obtains respectability: it is fortified, 
bold, defiant. Being built into the social structure it is inter- 
related with the whole organization of life, and thus not only 
acquires prestige in the eyes of men, and power over indiv- 
idual hearts, but is inaccessible to moral suasion, and when 
attacked can rally to its support the whole social system of 
which the institution in which it is embodied forms a part. 
To attack it means necessarily to disturb in some measure 
the equilibrium of the general fabric of society. For this 
reason, sin that is organized into the social system, when an 
attempt is made to dislodge it, often calls' to its support the 
conservative instincts of good men. It thus acquires power 
to create division in the army of Jesus Christ. It gets to 
be related in some way with the interests of so many men, 
who by personal inclination would be opposed to it, that 
it spreads moral paralysis in every direction, lowers ideals, 
quenches the spirit in the souls of multitudes, spreads 
worldiness in the churches, and relaxes the springs of 
evangelistic zeal. If economic corporations and political 
institutions are to remain under the sway of selfish prin- 
ciples and materialistic ideals, if the Kingdom of God is 
never to penetrate them, assimilate them, and set ethical and 
spiritual ideals in their very heart, then no intelligent and 
honest eye can see anything but lowering clouds on the 
horizon of the future. If the church of Jesus Christ, when 
brought face to face with the issue, quails before the task 
of assailing evil when it is found incorporated in the structure 
of society and dominant in the economic and political methods 
in vogue, we may expect the sad wail to grow louder that the 
church in the great centers of population holds with ever 
feebler grasp a dwindling group of adherents. 


"Thy Kingdom Come" 179 

The fundamental trouble is that an anti-Christian prin- 
ciple lies at the basis of many economic and political enter- 
prises. It is sin organized into the most substantial parts of 
the social fabric, and God is calling us in this day to fight for 
the eradication of that sin; so that instead of self-seeking 
materialism and the greed of gain, the law of service shall be 
made the organic principle of our economic and political life. 

The concrete question is this: Can the occupations of the 
business man and the poltician be converted from means of 
getting gain into forms of public service? Why should they 
not? The law of the Kingdom of God is service. Do not 
business and politics rightfully come under that law? It is 
not, primarily, a question of consecrating the wealth that is 
found in a man's hand. Back of that lies a deeper and more 
vital question. Was the method by which that wealth came 
into his hands consecrated? Ought it ever to have been in 
his hands? If the method by which it came into his hand 
was not righteous, if it came not in fact by the service of his 
fellow man and his God, rather than the service of self, then 
no dedication of a fraction of it to charitable purposes can 
square his account with the world and with God. To speak 
of converting business enterprises and politics from means 
of getting gain into forms of unselfish service strikes some 
ears as the weak twaddle of a dreamer. Such dreams are 
wrecked at once upon that robust dictum of common sense: 
"You can't reconstruct human nature." But, I ask, is not 
Christianity a method of reconstructing human nature? Has 
it not been proclaimed and accepted for two millenniums that 
the reconstruction of human nature is exactly what Christian- 
ity is in this world for? Now, if in this twentieth century, 
when we stand facing the task of applying that principle in 
the real business of life, we are going to run up the white 
flag and say you cannot change human nature, then, in the 
name of the God of Veracity, let us be done with this age-long 
farce! The most unpardonable treason to Jesus Christ of 
which a man can be guilty is to say that he cannot change 
human nature and bring it from the service of self into the 
service of God and one's fellows. He can! He has done it. No 
man is His follower in whom that change has not been 
wrought. No man is His disciple who works for his own 

180 Christian Frontiers 

profit six days in the week and then pretends to live for God 
and his fellow men on the seventh. No man has a right to 
wear His name who dedicates to religion the ill-gotten gain 
that really belongs to others. No man is a Christian who re- 
serves nine-tenths of his wealth for the pampering of his 
own body and the bodies of his children, and "gives" the 
other tenth to God. It is a sacrilegious sham to denominate 
as Christian a society whose economic and political ideals 
and methods are in antithesis to the law of the Kingdom. 
The multiplication of nominal Christians will not avail. If 
human nature is reconstructed according to the program of our 
King it must, and will, show itself in the reconstruction of the 
ideals and methods of our organized social life. The question is 
not salvation by civilization, but the salvation of civilization. 
Yes, to bring this vast, organized life of our times under 
the sway of the Kingdom, is perhaps, the most stupendous 
task of our day. There is but one other task comparable to it 
in magnitude, difficulty and urgency; and that is the evangel- 
ization of the non-Christian peoples of the earth. With a 
strange suddenness it seems to me, the Christian hosts have 
been brought before two tasks which are great enough to 
thrill even the most sluggish heart, and great enough to in- 
timidate any but heroic hearts — the propagation of the Gos- 
pel of the Kingdom to the limits of the world, and the re- 
alization of the social implications of the Kingdom at home. 
And these two tasks are closely related to each other. For, 
if Christianity should break down on the social side at home, 
the evangelistic campaign abroad would be correspondingly 
weakened. Orientals are engaged in the study of comparative 
religion on a colossal scale and by a practical method. In 
response to our missionary enterprise they are sending their 
ablest men to study our religion on its own ground. And with 
more open-mindedness than we could have expected, they 
are investigating its ethical and social effects among the peo- 
ple who ask them to receive it. Now, in the light of such in- 
vestigation, what appearance does our so-called Christian 
civilization make? What a humiliating indictment, for in- 
stance, do our city slums and city governments constitute? 
The City is rightly called the center of our civilization. Now, 
usually, if not always, you find somewhere near the center 

"Thy Kingdom Come" 181 

of this center, and corresponding to the size of the city, an 
area consecrated to the heathen gods of vice. So absolutely 
is that area given over to the worship of Bacchus and Venus 
that you rarely find a Christian man who dares to challenge 
their supremacy in the name of Jesus Christ. Respectable 
homes fly from this district, and the churches follow in the 
flight. Through its terrible vortex unnumbered thousands 
are sucked down to the lowest hell. But why is it there? It 
seems to accompany the city as inevitably as a man's shadow 
accompanies his body when he walks in the sunshine, and its 
presence debauches the entire life of the city and gives tone to 
its government. Manifestly it is a symptom, and a symptom 
of a constitutional disease. It is a cancerous sore that has for 
its origin a poison in the blood. We may apply local treat- 
ment, and local treatment is far better than no treatment at 
all, but constitutional treatment alone will reach the cause. 
The existence of this phenomenon is an advertisement to the 
whole world either that our Christianity is unequal to the 
task of social redemption, or that its remedial power has never 
been thoroughly applied. You and I accept the latter explana- 
tion, but the former is more likely to be the explanation given 
by our objective investigators. That religion alone can make 
an effective appeal to the whole world which can demonstrate 
its power to create a new world. 

As society develops in the providence of God we see that 
the old anti-Christian principle of social organization is show- 
ing its inadequacy under the fearful strains and stresses of 
modern life. We see that it is folly to rest the ever-increasing 
weight of the social structure upon a foundation of material- 
istic self-seeking, and we are looking about for a better prin- 
ciple. We will discover it when our eyes are open to see the 
meaning of the Kingdom of God. The inauguration of every 
new dispensation has been preceded by a period of disinte- 
gration due to the collapse of some old, inadequate basis of 
social adjustment. 

It seems to me that we are approaching the close of one 
and the opening of another great stage in the development of 
the Kingdom of God. If I have any grave apprehensions, it is 
that our churches have not a sufficient outlook, a sufficiently 
broad comprehension of the opportunities that confront them. 

They Made Me a Criminal 

Dear Reader: 

I am a P.O.W. — prisoner of war. No foreign camp is it in 
which I languish for these five long years. It is a U. S. Federal 
prison — I am a prisoner of my own land. My loyalty has never 
been denied by the government, and I am innocent of crime; 
yet they made me a criminal and put me away in prison. Who 
am I and why this treatment? 

I am your fellow Christian, your fellow church member. 
I am 15 Southern Baptist young men, 50 Northern Baptist 
young men, 200 Methodists, hundreds of Disciples, Presby- 
terians, Episcopalians, Catholics, or Jehovah's Witnesses. I 
am known in my home town as one of the church's finest 
youth, a leader in its program, and a friend of all men. I am 
well-educated, and was in some vocation or another which 
people respect because it serves mankind. Since I speak for 
more than 6,000 young men of prison experience, I am both 
single and married, childless and father of children who are 
cut off from me by prison walls. I am innocent of crime, yet 
they made me a criminal. 

My keepers respect me — but usually they also fear me. 
Because they fear, they have frequently devised subtle bar- 
barities or descended to rank brutalities designed to break 
my spirit and make me a cowering, thoughtless automaton 
They fear me because they do not understand what is is that 
put me here, because they know I am not really a criminal, 
and because here I have sought to apply the spirit and prin- 
ciples of Jesus Christ and have protested the gross violation 
of those principles: principles of fairness; of equal respect 
and treatment for all persons and all races; of giving every 
man the right to health, adequate food, and decent living 
conditions; of self-respect, cleanliness, and the right to in- 
dividuality and personality; of a man's right to communicate 
with his family. Because I have protested the denial of these 
and other rights to other men, criminals though they be, I 
have been punished by the loss of these same rights, and by 
being thrown into "solitary," dragged, and sometimes beaten 


They Made Me a Criminal 183 

and manhandled. Innocent of crime, I rate lower than crim- 

Because I am a Federal prisoner, I will suffer the same 
loss of civil rights upon my release as the felon suffers. That 
is, I will not be permitted to vote, to hold public office, or to 
enter civil service employment or the licensed professions, 
and a series of related discriminations and social barriers will 
face me. People will not stop to think that I am not a crim- 
inal, that they only put me in a criminal's cell, and that I am 

Prominent Christian leaders, world-renowned scientists, 
established big-name writers, businessmen, political leaders, 
government officials, and military heroes have made investiga- 
tion of the facts for themselves regarding my plight. These 
public figures have called on our President to make amends 
to me by releasing me and by restoring my civil rights, as was 
done in past instances of our nation's history and in our cur- 
rent dealings with conquered nations which we administer. 
These leaders have written articles in numbers of publications 
having nationwide circulation, in which they urged the pub- 
lic to give support to their appeal to the President for amnesty 
(pardon and restoration of all rights). 

They have presented the cause of amnesty before public 
meetings in numbers of cities, and as a consequence of all of 
these related efforts, the President has been receiving delega- 
tions and petitions and resolutions on amnesty, for many 
months, from every type of organization from labor unions 
to churches to veterans clubs. The list of these dozens and 
dozens of groups includes the North Carolina Baptist Con- 
vention, the North Carolina Methodist Conference, the North- 
ern Baptist Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, the 
Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, and Lutheran national 
bodies, as well as other denominations, the United Council 
of Church Women, the Student Christian Association, the 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the 
Fellowship of Reconciliation, the church federations of most 
major cities, the Workers Defense League, the national C.I.O., 
the American Federation of Labor, the N.A.A.C.P., the Amer- 
ican Civil Liberties Union, the National Farm Labor Union, 
the American Veterans Committee, the Veterans League of 

184 Christian Frontiers 

America, certain posts of the American Legion, and a host of 
other groups. In spite of this veritable flood of public opinion, 
supported by the editorials of most newspapers over the 
country, the President has refused to take any action toward 
a full amnesty for me — and the 6,000 other men whom they 
made criminals. 

Reports of the Department of Justice, which administers 
the federal prisons, state clearly that even it feels we should 
never have been imprisoned. 

There is an explanation, of course, for the imprisonment 
and for the President's lack of interest: "Prejudice." We, who 
are your fellow Christians, are here in prison for no other 
reason than prejudice against our effort to live in the spirit 
of Christ and follow His will for our lives when we felt clearly 
that His will did not permit us to serve in the miliary forces 
of the nation. A great number of us were willing to accept 
the non-military alternative service which the government 
set up with the cooperation of the historic peace churches 
(known as Civilian Public Service).* Yet because of the pre- 
judice of local draft boards and regional appeal boards, we 
were given no chance for such service, which is the legal 
right of any conscientious objector. Having no choice but the 
army, we refused that assignment rather than disobey the 
inner voice of God — and here we are! 

Some men did have a choice of CPS or the army, and either 
from experience of a trial period in CPS or the experience of 
friends in CPS, became convinced that it, too, was merely one 
branch of the nation's war machine, serving its special func- 
tion in the war-time economy of our nation. In our obedience 
to the inner voice, those of us who felt this way were suddenly 
faced with the fact that the laws of this country are less 
liberal than those of England and Canada, for example, and 
that there is neither true nor full recognition of Christian 
conscience in these laws. This is the meaning of the Depart- 
ment of Justice's admission that we conscientious objectors 
should never have been imprisoned. 

For our imprisonment, you may personally be responsible 
on two counts. As a citizen of a democracy, you are respons- 

*This alternative was described in the November issue of this magazine in an 
article entitled, "They Serve Without Weapons." 

They Made Me a Criminal 185 

ible for inadequacy or barbarity of its laws. An American 
juridical maxim is that "Ignorance of the law is no excuse." 
Certainly no one who reads this can longer claim ignorance. 
The second count might be failure to take action to add your 
voice to others demanding that the President grant full am- 
nesty. There is ample precedent in the actions of a half-dozen 
former Presidents who served in various periods of our his- 
tory. // you have done what you could throughout the war 
for liberalization of the conscience clauses of the Selective 
Service law and for a more humane and unprejudiced local 
and national administration of the laws — and if you have 
since the war done all you could to present the cause for 
amnesty both to the President and to Congress in your own 
name and also through all the organizations of which you are 
a member, then you are cleared of responsibility for the 
imprisonment and civil rights losses of your fellow Christians. 

Many who have supported the cause of amnesty, it is true, 
are persons who share our convictions of Christian pacifism. 
Yet the fact is that most of the strength of the drive for 
amnesty comes from persons who have no trace of pacifism 
in their own philosophy — veterans' groups, labor unions, 
government leaders, and others. Their support comes because 
they know that injustice and false imprisonment of any 
citizen is wrong, and may prove to be the downfall of all 
citizens' rights. The church groups supporting our case are 
adding to their vigilance for justice and for citizens' rights, 
their real concern for religious liberty and for maintenance 
of fellowship with their members who are suffering injustice. 

It is only one step from imprisonment of religious con- 
scientious objectors, to the imprisonment of all persons whose 
obedience to the inner voice of God causes them to act upon 
or express any criticism, however true and needed, of the 
government. Hitler's first prisoners were those who refused 
to acknowledge the power of government to conscript sons 
of God for training in the noble art of killing — his next were 
all other religious people who made any type of criticism of 
his government. The German churches learned the lesson 
the hard way — and too late, proving by their spiritual loss 
that "Eternal vigilance is the price of [religious] liberty." 

The acid test of democracy is the treatment of minority 

186 Christian Frontiers 

groups, particularly when in righteous opposition to an un- 
godly demand made upon them. The United States made a 
poorer showing than England and the dominions, copying 
instead the more subtle portions of the totalitarian program 
of imprisonment for the holding of honest religious convic- 
tions which the government has made illegal "for the dura- 

The fact that nearly all sentences will have been complete- 
ly served within a year from now does not justify optimism 
over the status quo, for the loss of rights to vote, hold office, 
secure civil service employment or enter licensed professions, 
etc., is a lifetime punishment, unless presidential amnesty is 
granted. The appointment of an amnesty review board by the 
President has meant only a speeding up in the parole of men 
remaining in prison— parole under special conditions far less 
liberal than those for criminals. It has indicated no interest 
in the restoration of civil rights. 

Christians who are alert to the threat to religious liberty 
and who are concerned about the lifetime injustice which has 
been done in their name to fellow Christians in this land of 
Christianity and freedom, will still be busy in calling upon 
the President and upon their Congressmen for a full amnesty 
involving restoration of all rights and privileges forfeited by 
conscientious objector prisoners who were sentenced for these 
violations of the Service act. 

History has thrown this question squarely in your lap, 
Southern Baptist reader — have you placed your Christian in- 
fluence on the side of right and justice in this matter? The 
time is now. 


Voice of a Southern Baptist Prisoner. 

(NOTE: Readers should understand that this letter does not officially represent 
the 15 Southern Baptist young men sentenced to prison. It is, however, a state- 
ment of the facts and general viewpoint, edited by W. M. Hammond, Jr. with the 
assistance of George Swope and others. It was especially composed for the pur- 
pose of relating the facts and insights gained from the letters, conversations, and 
written records of some 15 or more men who were ministered to through the war 
years by the independent and unofficial Southern Baptist Fellowship movement.) 

What Do You Mean— "A Good Hymn"? 

Thane McDonald 


'ODAY in our Protestant churches much intelligent 
effort is being exerted by ministers and church 
musicians to raise the standards of church music in general 
and congregational hymns in particular. To realize the acute 
need for better music, the minister, the musician, or even the 
layman needs only to hear some of the radio broadcasts 
which are prevalent today, many of them originating within 
our churches. Other programs, usually under commercial 
sponsorship, broadcast the worst type of street-ballad gospel 
songs. These programs have no relation to worship, but 
spread a sanctimonious poison in unworthy and spurious 
types of song. 

Perhaps a re-examination of the elements of a good hymn 
as opposed to the type just mentioned will be helpful. 

In considering any hymn, it must be remembered that the 
technical literary definition, "A song or an ode of praise to 
Almighty God," necessarily includes the words and the music 
which clothes those words. As no hymn is complete without 
its musical setting, whether it be a prose chant, a metrical 
Psalm, or a contemporary English or American hymn, in 
determining the elements of a good hymn we must consider 
both the words and the music. 

St. Augustine said: "Hymns are praises to God with sing- 
ing." This definition includes only the hymn of praise and 
omits many fine hymns concerned with the experiences of 
penitence, intercession, meditation, instruction, and exhorta- 
tion. Many of our best-loved hymns are expressions of spirit- 
ual experiences in fine literary style, but are not always con- 
cerned with praise. Harvey B. Marks in his book The Rise 
and Groivth of English Hymnody defines a hymn as "a sacred 
poem expressive of devotion, spiritual experience or religious 
truth, fitted to be sung by an assembly of people." With that 
definition in mind, let us examine some of the essential liter- 
ary factors of a worthy hymn. 

First, the style should be clear and direct and, above all, 
dignified. Fanciful imagery, extravagant wordings, and crude 


188 Christian Frontiers 

diction should be avoided. Countless violations of this prin- 
ciple could be cited; but, on the other hand, the number of 
truly noble hymns is likewise great, although too many of 
them lie unused within the covers of our hymnals. 

Second, the message of the hymn should be eloquent and 
inspiring. Many of our finest hymns are paraphrases of pas- 
sages from the Psalms, such as Martin Luther's stirring "A 
Mighty Fortress is Our God"; other hymns, such as William 
Williams' "Guide Me, Thou Great Jehovah," are based on 
other portions of the Scriptures. Still others do not rest on a 
Scriptural basis, but express in beautiful language the per- 
sonal inspiration of the writer. Such a hymn is Isaac Watts' 
"When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," one of the finest 
hymns we possess. 

Third, the hymn should be written in a poetic meter which 
can be easily appreciated by musically untrained congrega- 
tions. A glance at the metrical index of any hymnal reveals 
the overwhelming popularity of three meters, S.M. (Short 
Meter), CM. (Common Meter), and L.M. (Long Meter). 
Each of these is a regular four-line stanza in which no verse 
exceeds eight syllables. These metrical forms are the most 
practical and easily sung by our congregations. 

Fourth, there should be a feeling of absolute sincerity 
and objectivity in the hymn. Nothing stilted or ambiguous 
should mar the sincere expression of the hymn, and the 
general tendency should be towards objectivity rather than 
intense subjectivity, which all too often results in a super- 
sentimental outpouring of misguided fervor. 

Having thus enumerated some desirable practical elements 
in the words of the hymn, let us turn to the musical settings. 
Too often it is true that worthy and inspired poetic texts are 
adapted to cheap and uninspired hymn tunes. To aid in dis- 
tinguishing the best hymn tunes let us consider several 

First, the tune should be subjected to the three types of 
listening which have been pointed out by Sigmund Spaeth 
in his book The Common Sense of Music. A tune may arouse 
the "foot listener" by being strongly rhythmic; or it may 
have a strong melodic interest and appeal to the "heart 

What Do You Mean — "A Good Hymn"? 189 

listener"; or it may belong to the more highly intellectual 
class of tunes which interest only the "head listener." 

The best tunes will combine these three elements in 
proper proportion. They will not have an excess of dotted 
notes with the resultant jumpy, jerky, jazzy rhythms so 
often found in the cheaper song books sold by music pub- 
lishers whose chief interest is in financial returns. These 
flimsy paper-covered books are filled with nondescript dog- 
gerel and music altogether unfit to be heard within any 
house of worship. Furthermore, the best tunes will not dis- 
play an overuse of "juicy" harmonies liberally sprinkled with 
superfluous chromatic notes designed to create a sentimental 
barber-shop atmosphere, rather than to focus the attention 
of the worshipper on a dignified message. 

Second, the tune should contain a reasonable amount of 
melodic similarity of phrases. A melodic sequence in a hymn 
tune tends to make it easier to sing, especially by the average 
layman. Awkward and difficult melodic intervals in the 
soprano, alto, tenor, or bass voice parts should be avoided. 

Third, there should be a steady forward movement in the 
tune leading to a climax near the end. This climax will 
usually coincide with a high note in the soprano or melody 
line. A good example of this is the tune "Lancashire," often 
sung to the hymn "Lead On, King Eternal." 

Fourth, the tune should be intelligently played by the 
organist or pianist and sung by the choir and congregation 
with attention to every word. The finest hymn and the finest 
tune are meaningless if played and sung in an indifferent 

We cannot deal adequately with this subject in a brief 
article, but the need for careful evaluation of our church 
hymns is greater today than ever before. Therefore, the 
minister, church musician, and layman are challenged to 
help keep the standards of hymn appreciation and under- 
standing as high as possible. 

Our Southern Baptist Friends 

Dr. W. Earle Smith 

'"pO ONE who takes the long view of a working relation- 

A ship between the Southern Baptist Convention and 

the Northern Baptist Convention, particularly in the states 

of the Southwestern area, the years have revealed a very 

interesting trend. 

We can well recall when the May meetings of Northern 
Baptists were held at Oklahoma City. There were at that time 
some Northern Baptist churches in Oklahoma, but after due 
consideration it was felt by the Northern Baptists that Okla- 
homa should rightfully belong to the Southern Baptist Con- 
vention because of location and the strength of Southern 
Baptist churches in that state. Therefore, Northern Baptists 
withdrew from any interest in Oklahoma, as far as attempt- 
ing to establish Northern Baptist churches was concerned. 


Some 25 or 30 years ago, while living in Southern Cali- 
fornia, we recall very vividly the feeling on the part of some 
of our Baptist brethren in Arizona that, unwisely and unfair- 
ly, Southern Baptists were making an organized aggressive 
approach into that state, which was the area of the Northern 
Baptist Convention. Wise or otherwise, the Southern Baptist 
work has been established in Arizona and the Southern Bap- 
tist Convention continues to function alongside the Northern 
Baptist Convention. 

Beginnings in California 

Some years ago we began to hear reports that our South- 
ern Baptist friends were looking toward our Southern Cali- 
fornia Convention, and we heard from time to time that there 
were some Southern Baptist churches being established. 

A few years later we heard that some Southern Baptist 
churches were being founded in the Northern California area. 
Our reaction at that time was that it seemed most unfortunate 
that an invasion of organized Southern Baptists into the 
California area was under way. 


Our Southern Baptist Friends 191 

A Free Country 

We reminded ourselves, however, that America is a free 
country and that any group of people, Southern Baptists or 
others, have a perfect right to enter into any portion of 
America and establish churches and build houses of worship. 

On the other hand, we felt at that time it was a serious 
mistake on the part of our Southern Baptist friends not to 
throw the entire strength of their leadership behind the 
California Baptist program and encourage Baptists entering 
into California from the Southern states, fully to affiliate 
themselves with the regular program of the Northern Bap- 
tist Convention. 

Formal Protest 

In June, 1944, we wrote a letter to Dr. J. B. Lawrence of 
the Home Mission Society of the Southern Baptist Conven- 
tion earnestly protesting the founding of Southern Baptist 
churches in the California area. We urged the Home Mission 
Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to register its dis- 
approval of this movement and join with us in stemming the 
tide of this development which in our judgment would be- 
come a divisive factor in Baptist growth, rather than con- 
structive. Dr. Lawrence informed us that he did not see that 
there would be any conflict with the work being done by the 
Northern Baptist Convention and that the Southern Home 
Mission Society was not in a position to oppose this move- 

The War Period 

During the war period many thousands of Southern Bap- 
tists moved into California. Many hundreds of them came 
into the metropolitan area of the San Francisco Bay Cities. 
Hundreds of these loyal Southern people brought their letters 
and became affiliated with our Baptist churches throughout 
the Bay Cities and Northern California, and today many are 
among our most loyal and capable leaders. In fact, many 
regular Baptist churches in California have a large percentage 
of their members who were formerly members of Southern 
Baptist churches. 

On the other hand there came with these people from the 

192 Christian Frontiers 

Southland, a number of Baptist preachers, some of whom, 
we have learned, had unfortunate experiences in the South- 
land and some of whom were unable to secure churches. 
During the war many Southern Baptist churches were found- 
ed in California and from our observation and information 
that we have received, the leadership of these churches has 
been made up in many cases of ministerial brethren coming 
from the Southland, who daring the war worked in war in- 
dustries and sought to fou.nd Southern Baptist churches as 
part-time service to their war production work. As a result, 
we have many Southern Baptist churches throughout Cali- 
fornia. Most of these churches are feeble, meeting in rented 
store buildings, homes, etc. 

One of our great disappointments has been that what 
seems to us an unwise and rather undercover approach has 
been made in establishing Southern Baptist work. Never 
once have we had a Southern Baptist minister who was seek- 
ing to establish Southern Baptist work come to our office and 
seek fellowship and become acquainted with us and our work. 
It would seem to us that if it is the will of the Lord that 
Southern Baptists become established in California, there 
should be a frank, earnest approach to, and desire for, fellow- 
ship with the established Northern Baptists of California. 

Loyal Southern Trained Ministers 

We have in California many ministers who were educated 
in the South and served in leadership in churches of the 
Southern Baptist Convention. Many of them are among our 
most successful ministers in California. The writer counts 
himself one of the group who came out of the Southern Bap- 
tist background. We feel that we can say that this group of 
ministers is of the opinion that this invasion is an unwise 
move on the part of Southern Baptists. 

Reasons for Entering California 

It has been reported to us a number of times that our 
Southern Baptist friends have stated that their reasons in 
seeking to establish work in California are two-fold: 

One, they feel the Northern Baptists are not preaching 
the true Gospel. 

Our Southern Baptist Friends 193 

The other, they feel that California Baptists are not 
aggressive in establishing Baptist churches. 

As far as the first charge is concerned, we feel it is very 
unfair. Anybody who knows anything about the Baptist posi- 
tion in California, knows full well that Baptist churches are 
universally evangelistic, aggressively missionary, and thor- 
oughly conservative in theology. 

As for the second charge, certainly every Northern Bap- 
tist pastor and every church in California most heartily wel- 
comes the loyal cooperation and support of every Baptist that 
comes from the Southland into the state, but we do feel that 
our brethren are making a serious mistake when they come 
seeking to establish a competitive denominational convention. 

Interesting Figures 

It might be interesting to record here certain facts and 
figures to discount the charges that we have not been pro- 
gressive. In the S. F. Bay Cities Baptist Union in the last 12 
years we have grown from 30 to 51 Baptist churches, with a 
number of missions now in organization, that will grow into 
regular Baptist churches soon. Our Baptist membership 12 
years ago in the Bay Cities was 7500 and today is in excess 
of 23,000. Our annual baptisms 12 years ago were 400 while 
last year they were 1300. Our total giving to missions 12 years 
ago was less than $30,000 — last year it was about $170,000. 

In the area of the Northern California Baptist Convention 
outside the S. F. Bay Cities Baptist Union, since Reuben 
Olson came as Executive Secretary of the Convention ZVz 
years ago, 17 new cooperative Baptist churches have been 
founded; 11 regular white churches, 4 Negro churches, 3 
Spanish churches, and 2 regular white churches have been 
reinstated into the fellowship of the Convention. 

Is It Possible? 

At a time when Methodists have definitely moved away 
from the old Civil War division of North and South, it is a 
sorry spectacle indeed to see Baptists supported by denomina- 
tional boards, at this belated time, fanning the old North and 
South issue. Surely, this is no time to fight again the old issues 
of the Civil War. If there were the least foundation for the 

194 Christian Frontiers 

division from a theological basis, one might find some grounds 
on which the movement could be supported. Certainly there 
is no fundamental difference between California Baptists' 
theology and good Southern Baptists' theology. 

A Prayer for Grace 

We have never raised our voice in unkind protest or 
criticism against this Southern Baptist movement. If it is of 
God then of course we should be the very first to insist that 
we recognize His will, but our reason does not lead us to be- 
lieve that it is in line with His will. 

We are definitely resolved at all times to refrain from be- 
coming angry with our Southern brethren or in any way per- 
mitting ourselves to act in an un-Christian spirit toward them. 

However, we definitely feel that the time has come when 
the good Baptists of California should speak out against this 
invasion and protest to our Southern brethren that there is 
no need for the establishment of a Southern Baptist Conven- 
tion in competition to the Northern Baptist Convention, 
which God has blessed during the years and which is moving 
forward throughout California to evangelize and establish 

In a country village lived two men, 
But one of the two had a Jim-Crow skin; 
So he did the arduous work and chores, 
He tilled the soil and cleaned the floors. 
The white man seldom turned his hand — 
For he it was who owned the land. 
Then came the time when Jim Crow died. 
They rested him deep by the river's side. 
And then the white man did the same; 
A marble spire proclaimed his fame. 
The twain were scarce beneath the ground 
When a million worms their refuge found. 
And there beneath the rose and fern 
They picked them both from stem to stern. 
(Worms are kinder far than men; 
They hold as naught one's shade of skin.) 

— C. L. Guthrie 


Justice and the Social Order by 

Emil Brunner. Harper & Bros., 

New York. 1945. 

The Anatomy of Peace by Emery 

Reves. Harper & Bros., New York. 


Toward a Democratic New Order 

by David Bryn-Jones. University 

of Minnesota Press., Minneapolis, 


Reviewed by 
William M. Poteat 

There is much to validate the 
assertion that at the very mo- 
ment a fundamental concept of 
a civilization is re-examined and 
made the subject both of inquiry 
and apologetics it ceases to have 
authority — that is, exercise a hold 
on the allegiance of people — with- 
in the matrix of civilizing ideas. 
This is not necessarily true. It 
is, perhaps, more accurate to sup- 
pose that such inquiry and apol- 
ogy are the response of the cre- 
ative intellectual minority to the 
"challenge" of a "time of trouble" 
— to use the language of Arnold 

Whatever final validation his- 
tory may give to either of these 
possibilities, it is interesting to 
view with these in mind the ap- 
pearance of many books which 
seek to examine anew the pre- 
suppositions of democracy in 
order to defend them with hon- 
esty in the presence of the anti- 
democratic forces. Whether they 
will represent the last defense of 
a political ideal doomed to de- 
struction at the hands of an 
increasingly dehumanizing civili- 

zation, or the creative re-inter- 
pretation that can rescue it, 
remains to be seen. The fact is 
that political man has come in 
for more study, of late. One must 
hasten to add that the urgency of 
having new and manipulable 
knowledge about man-the-politi- 
cal-animal is no inconsiderable 
factor in the popularity of this 

The three books under con- 
sideration here serve to illustrate 
the range of interest which the 
subject evokes. A theologian, a 
free-lance writer and journalist, 
and a teacher of political science 
have this concern in common: 
The "last, best hope of earth" 
shall not perish for lack of an 

At the time of its publication 
The Anatomy of Peace received 
widespread acclaim as a clear, 
concise and calmly devastating 
attack upon what Emery Reves 
has chosen to characterize as the 
Ptolemaic world view — viewing 
the world as if our own nation 
were the center of that world 
even as Ptolemy viewed the earth 
as the center of the universe. 
Opposed to these partial per- 
spectives, Reves points to the 
Copernican world - view which 
sees the universe in terms of its 
true center — the sun. Says he: 
"In this new and as yet unex- 
plored era we find ourselves 
completely helpless, equipped 
with the inadequate, primitive 
political and social notions in- 
herited from the pre-industrial- 
ized world." 



Christian Frontiers 

The whole substance of Reves' 
thesis is simply caught in this 
assertion: "Our political and 
social conceptions are Ptolemaic. 
The world in which we live is 

The Anatomy of Peace seeks to 
face honestly the inadequacy of 
all alternatives to world govern- 
ment. The Fallacy of Interna- 
tionalism reveals the impossible 
dilemma precipitated by the ef- 
fort to make international peace 
among national sovereignties. 
This is the obvious effort to eat 
your peace and have your nation, 
too. Or — to make the situation 
even more contradictory — it is 
the effort to have a world govern- 
ment without the sine qua non 
of world government, world sov- 

The alternatives of self-deter- 
mination and of collective se- 
curity are flayed with equal 
lucidity and irrefragable logic. 

What, then, is the one device by 
which we can avoid the terrors 
of the international deep so 
graphically delineated for us. 
Law is the answer, saws Mr. 
Reves. The pre-requisite of gov- 
ernment is sovereignty. The 
foundation of sovereignty is law. 
The way out is the establishment 
of world government through the 
creation of world law. 

Mr. Reves' book possesses all 
the merits of simplicity and 
should be prized for what it is 
— and not rejected for what it 
fails to be. But we must appre- 
ciate the difficulties implied in 
this thesis — lest we be seduced 
by naivete. The Anatomy is the 
perfect grammar of politics for 
the civilized and rational man 

when he is being civilized and 
rational. But, in contrast to 
Brunner's rumbling inquiry into 
the problem of justice, burdened 
with the anguished knowledge of 
man's "holy unreason," his sin- 
fulness, his concupiscence, Reves 
appears petulant and peevish, 
and altogether helpless. For, in 
the last analysis, Reves cannot 
help but regard the social and 
political anachronisms of our 
time, the Ptolemaic world-view 
in a Copernican world, as errors 
that pointing to will dispel. They 
are to him unnatural social phe- 
nomena. Brunner, on the other 
hand, is able to regard the same 
things as unnatural in terms of 
man's divine destiny, but quite 
unsurprising in view of his fallen 

In a certain sense, the implied 
presuppositions of Bryn-Jones 
lie somewhere between Brunner 
and Reves. Bryn-Jones can be 
described as a "liberal" political 
thinker. But in no sense is he to 
be regarded as among that dwin- 
dling group of political philoso- 
phers which emerged from the 
tradition of Bentham and Mill 
who expressed complete confi- 
dence in the reasonableness of a 
people. He says himself: "It was 
one of the weaknesses of nine- 
teenth-century liberalism, as typ- 
ified by John Stuart Mill for 
example, to overstress the cer- 
titude of this return (by the 
people) to the right course, and 
conversely to underestimate the 
power of the irrational forces in- 
herent in human nature." To 
Brunner, the obstacle to the 
return to the right course would 
not be the irrational forces in 



human nature, alone; but reason 
in the service of pride. 

Bryn-Jones' hook is a compe- 
tent and comprehensive effort to 
justify democracy. He deals with 
The Liberal Tradition, The Basic 
Concepts of Democracy, Democ- 
racy and Industry, Social De- 
mocracy, Democracy and Nation- 
ality, Democracy and World 
Order and Democracy and Inter- 
national Relations. One would 
say of it that it is more a careful 
documentation of democracy's 
history and its promise than a 
creative re-interpretation. He has 
absorbed the shock induced in 
recent years by the corruption 
of freedom in the name of free- 
dom and has been able to face 
the full danger to liberty which 
lies concealed in American dem- 
ocratic institutions when the 
moral foundations of these in- 
stitutions become obscured. 

In applying the presupposi- 
tions which he outlines in the 
first part of his book to the prob- 
lems of international relations, 
Bryn-Jones, we feel, has been 
more realistic in his appreciation 
of the complexities of the situa- 
tion than has Reves. He risks 
no such obviously true, but bland 
remark that world law is the 
solution to all our ills — aware 
that in the chaos which we face 
the statement does more toward 
defining the problem than it does 
toward offering a solution. It is 
precisely the nature of our dilem- 
ma that the basis of world law 
is nowhere to be found. The 
need for world law is recognized 
by its absence and by its im- 
possibility — which leads us di- 
rectly into the inquiry which 

engages Brunner's attention. 

For it is the recognition of the 
perversion of every moral ground 
upon which Justice is erected, 
upon which law is based that 
makes Brunner's book more val- 
uable and relevant. This is 
doubly true since he can face 
without illusion the depth of this 
corruption without yielding to 
despair or forced sentimentality. 
He is able, as a theologian, to 
view the problem as one who is 
caught in the irresolvable ten- 
sion between the knowledge of 
man's sinfulness and preten- 
siousness and the unshakable 
demands of God's singleness of 
moral purpose. 

It is from the disintegration of 
the Western idea of Justice that 
Brunner moves to re-establish 
in Christian terms the basis for 
law. The problem is stated in 
this fashion: "Wrong as a setting 
aside of order is evil; wrong as a 
system, as an approved and per- 
manent perversion of a just or- 
der, is intolerable." The source 
of Brunner's superiority through- 
out is his ability to criticize the 
problems of natural law and 
natural ethics from the perspec- 
tive of revelation. This perspec- 
tive is the gift of Christianity. 

Those who are familiar with 
Brunner's thought and who find 
it congenial — or at least sugges- 
tive — will want to read Justice 
and the Social Order. It is un- 
doubtedly one of the two or 
three most important books in 
Protestant thought written dur- 
ing the war. Certainly it ranks 
with Brunner's earlier The Di- 
vine Imperative as a serious and 
comprehensive contribution to 


Christian Frontiers 

the body of Reformation thought 

The study of "the equality and 
inequality" of people in Justice 
is, perhaps, the most salutary 
Christian corrective to the sen- 
timentality about equality which, 
in the name of Justice, seeks to 
destroy all "differences" among 
people and groups, thus steriliz- 
ing the very germ of dynamic 
society and, in Christian terms, 
destroying the very source of 
human incompleteness and mu- 
tual need which is the basis for 
community. In the familiar Brun- 
nerian term, it perverts the or- 
der of creation by which man is 
able to respond to his creator. 
It is the loss of this meaning 
which underlies the disintegra- 
tion of the Western idea of 

A study of these three books 

together, all directed toward a 
common problem, produces an 
interesting conclusion: The critic 
who confronts the social and 
political phenomena of our gen- 
eration from the point of view of 
Christian revelation with its re- 
vealed knowledge of what the 
human situation is and of the 
peculiar problem that man has 
as a creature living historically 
can see more clearly than the 
journalist or the political scien- 
tist both the nature of the prob- 
lem and the bases from which a 
solution may be projected. This 
is to say that the quest for mean- 
ing in the life of cultures, so- 
cieties and individual men is in 
our day, no less than in every 
age, a theological problem. 

— Reprinted by permission 
from Prophetic Religion. 


The tricksters, driven from the temple, soon 
Returned, and bought it with their wealth of gold. 
They bought it from without and from within, 
And captive Christ at Mammon's booth is sold. 
Their preacher offers solace, in the end, 
To all who are content to be a slave. 
The verities of life are taut and thin — 
Their preacher offers peace — beyond the grave: 
"The poor you have with you — and always must; 
The rich are very good and very just. 
The meek shall own the earth (when they are dust); 
And it's no sin for those of means to lust." 
Indeed, the Lord may be in such a den, 
But weeping for the erring sons of men. 

— C. L. Guthrie 



The board of trustees of the 
University of North Carolina has 
authorized the establishment of 
Departments of Religion in each 
of the university's three branches 
— the University at Chapel Hill, 
N. C, State College at Raleigh, 
and the Woman's College at 

Dr. Frank P. Graham, presi- 
dent of the University, said "It's 
the business of the educated man 
to become acquainted with reli- 
gion." He cautioned that carry- 
ing the idea of separation of 
church and state too far can 
result in "divorcing of the indi- 
vidual and religion." — (RNS) 


An interracial and interfaith 
laboratory on missions and world 
fellowship, believed to be the first 
of its kind, was held at Crabtree 
Creek Park near Durham under 
the sponsorship of the North 
Carolina Conference of the Meth- 
odist Youth Fellowship. 

Delegates at the sessions in- 
cluded: Greeks, Japanese-Ameri- 
cans, Chinese, Indians, Negroes, 
American Indians, Jews, Catho- 
lics, Greek Orthodox and six dif- 
ferent Protestant denominations 
— Baptist, Presbyterian, Congre- 
gational, Methodist, Lutheran 
and Quaker. 

On the final day of the con- 
ference, which stressed world 

fellowship and the brotherhood 
of races and faiths, the 150 dele- 
gates attended morning worship 
services at the chapel on the 
Duke University campus. — 


Declaring that "personally I 
believe in prayer and am not 
ashamed to admit it," Judge Lu- 
ther Hamilton of Morehead City, 
N. C, has inaugurated the policy 
of having a clergyman instead 
of a court deputy open the terms 
of Superior Court wherever he 
presides in the state. 

The plan, which has attracted 
favorable comment, originated, 
Judge Hamilton says, when he 
"got to thinking one day of the 
utter inconsistency of our re- 
citals and our practices. I can 
think of no place where blessings 
are needed more than in the 
courtroom. We need religion on 
Monday and Tuesday as well as 
on Sunday. If there is a 'divinity 
that shapes our ends,' that is, 
if there is an omniscient and 
omnipotent Power governing the 
affairs of life, and from its source 
can be had inspiration and help 
for the undertakings of the day, 
why should not the blessings of 
such a Power be invoked? 

"In other words, why recite the 
Creeds and rituals on Sunday if 
we are not willing to give them 
some practical application on 

Instead of the invocations 
which Judge Hamilton has in- 



Christian Frontiers 

augurated in his courts, custom- 
ary procedure in opening courts 
in the state is to have a court 
deputy repeat a chant which 
ends, "God save the state and 
this honorable court." This, says 
Judge Hamilton, "always seemed 
to be a desecration." 


Washington, D. C. (RNS)— The 
Southern Baptist Convention is 
interested in establishing an in- 
ternational shortwave broadcast- 
ing station for foreign mission 
work in various countries around 
the earth, Dr. Sam Lowe, of At- 
lanta, Ga., chairman of the South- 
ern Baptist Radio Commission, 
told a group of government and 
congressional leaders at a recent 
dinner on Capitol Hill, it was 
learned here. 

The dinner, arranged by Sena- 
tor Walter F. George (D.-Ga.), 
was attended by Senator Tom 
Connally (D.-Texas), Senator Ar- 
thur M. Vandenberg (R.-Mich.), 
Senator Wallace H. White (R.- 
Me.), Assistant Secretary of 
State William Benton, Dr. James 
M. Dawson, executive director of 
the Baptist Joint Conference 
Committee on Public Relations, 
Charles R. Denny, chairman of 
the Federal Communications 
Commission, and several sub- 
executives of the Department of 

Dr. Lowe told the group that 
the Southern Baptists are willing 
to enter into a cooperative ar- 
rangement with other Protestant 
mission bodies to bring the idea 
of a powerful missionary short- 

wave station to fruition. The 
project, he said, would require 
millions of dollars for financing. 
He pledged the Southern Baptists 
to "do their full part" in any such 

Assistant Secretary of State 
Benton was quoted by those at- 
tending the dinner as having 
pointed out that all international 
shortwave broadcasting has been 
in the hands of the Department 
of State and that as long as the 
present situation obtains such a 
project on an international scale 
by private groups would be im- 

However, he is said to have 
stressed that future policies have 
not yet been determined by Con- 
gress. A proposal now is being 
discussed, he said, which would 
place international broadcasting 
in the hands of a foundation part- 
ly financed by the federal gov- 
ernment but controlled directly 
by trustees appointed from all 
walks of American life. 


Montgomery, Ala. (RNS) — Dr. 
Frank Tripp has accepted the 
position of executive director of 
the hospital commission of the 
Southern Baptist Convention and 
administrator of the Southern 
Baptist Hospital in New Orleans. 

Dr. Tripp is president of the 
Alabama Baptist Convention and 
pastor of First Baptist church of 
Montgomery. He is also presi- 
dent of the Montgomery Hospital 




University of uorth Carolina 
Chapel Hill, N. C. 

JANUARY, 1948 **£* 

In This Issue: 


REVELATION Dr. Das Kelley Barnert 

rHE ALCOHOL PROBLEM Dr. Clarence Patrick 

CHRIST AND TH E SWORD Rev. Tucker N. Calloway 

Publication of the Baptist Book Club, Incorporated 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 

Vo1 - n JANUARY, 1948 

No. ' 


William W. Fixlator. Editor-in-Chief 
Marjorie E. Moore. Advisory Editor Almonte C. Howell, Bool: Edito] 

J. O. Bailey. Managing Editor Sara Lowery , Poetry EMor 


WO. Carver., Louisville. Ky. j. c . Wilkinson, Athens, Ga. 

CtmcI Tr ^ ASHV ' LLE ' TEXX - Swan Hayworth. Vicksbtirg, Miss. 

George B. Cuttex, Chapel Hill. X. C. Withrow T. Holland, Hayxesville, La 

J M. Dawson, Washington, D. C. Adiel J. Moncrief, St. Joseph, Mo. 

Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. Blake Smith. Austin, Texas 

Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C. Hubert R. Howard. Jr., Tulsa. Okla 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 
Fred B. Helms John McGinnis 

Carl Lee Ousley Warrex Carr 

R. K. Redvixe 

Wilbur W. Hutchins 

A. C. McCall 



Christian Education: The Servant of Revelation. ...Dr. Das Kelley Barnett .... 204 

The Alcohol Problem ... Dr . Clarence p atrick 2Q5 

Christ and the Sword... Rev . Tucker R Calloway 2 J 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July and August) by the Baptist Book 

B:ho8 n ZaZVlf^Tl° f ^^ Qnd layr " e>l - AMreSS aU correspondent o 
Boa 508 Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 by the Baptist Book Club Entered 

Act o) March 3, lb/9. Subscription price, two dollars a year- twentv-Uve rpnto a onJ, 
Printed by The Graphic Press. Inc.. Raleigh. North Carolina. ' H 



After a delay of four months Christian 
Frontiers makes its reappearance with 
apologies to its subscribers and with 
gratitude for their patience. The stay 
in publication is due in part to the loss 
of its editor, Dr. Das Kelley Barnett, 
who this fall left the pastorate of the 
Baptist Church of Chapel Hill to be- 
come professor in the Department of 
Religion at Mercer University. Dr. Bar- 
nett's resignation removes from the 
official family its guiding star and in- 
spiration. His keen analysis of the 
shifting scenes of our present drama, 
his swift and forceful application of 
the Christian ethic, and his organiza- 
tional abilities will be greatly missed. 
His loss however will be partly compen- 
sated by the assurance of his continued 
support and the knowledge that he will 
continue to be a frequent contributor 
to the journal. For the present W. W. 
Finlator, who has been associate editor, 
will serve as editor. 


It is considered an error of strategy 
and bad psychology to fail in any ven- 
ture "to put up a good front." It is like 
handing a man a check and asking him 
to postpone cashing it for several days. 
It is with no sense of embarrassment, 
however, that we confess a financial 
cause in the change of the physical 
make-up of Christian Frontiers. Our 
journal, in company with other journ- 
als of its type, enjoys no financial se- 
curity. Having no denominational back- 
ing and receiving only a token from 
advertisements, its support must come 
from the individual men and women 
who believe in its purpose and place. 
That the number of such people in our 
denomination is larger than generally 
assumed and that this number is grow- 
ing bring us at once a hope and a 
challenge. It is the avowed purpose of 

the directors of Christian Frontiers to 

place the journal on a self-sustaining 
financial basis completely on the basis 
of subscriptions. In the meanwhile we 
shall not put up the front, physically 
speaking, with which we launched our 
destiny, and we shall unashamedly ac- 
cept from our supporters whatever con- 
tributions they may send us. 


In view of the facts that the South 
has been termed America's "Economic 
Problem No. 1," has the largest racial 
minority, and offers the poorest edu- 
cational opportunities to her children, 
and that the predominant religious 
body in the South is the Southern 
Baptist Convention, the news that Dr. 
Hugh A. Brimm has accepted the new- 
ly-created office of Secretary of the 
Southern Baptist Social Service Com- 
mission should receive an excited wel- 
come. At its last meeting the Conven- 
tion instructed its Social Service Com- 
mission to establish an office and em- 
ploy a secretary to care for an enlarged 
program of relating the Christian ethic 
as Baptists see it to the social problems 
of our day. Just what will be the spe- 
cific nature of Dr. Brimm's work is not 
yet clear, but if he is guided by the 
recommendations of the Social Service 
Commission as found on pages 47 and 
48 of the 1947 SBC Annual, we may 
expect in our denomination a keen in- 
terest in and heightened awareness of 
the social problems that in the past we 
have all too easily ignored. 

Dr. Brimm comes to this new field 
uniquely qualified, having received his 
doctorate in Christian Sociology at 
Louisville, served as pastor of the First 
Baptist Church in Quincy, Florida, and 
later taught at Mercer University. His 
work will be largely educational. He 
must first of all convert us. He must 



Christian Frontiers 

awaken us to the meaning of labor 
unions, to the growing tensions between 
the races, to the feudalism of farm^ 
tenancy and share-cropping, and to 
every social ill that vexes our region. 
No foolish separation of the personal 
from the social gospel, no regional 
conservatism under the banner of re- 
ligious fundamentalism must hinder his 
work. So dominant are we Baptists in 
the South that every Southern problem 
is a Baptist problem. This is our South, 
these are our people, and this is our 
future. More power to you, Dr. Brimm! 


In his searching article on the prob- 
lem of alcohol appearing elsewhere in 
this issue Dr. Clarence Patrick pays 
high tribute to the work of Alcoholics 
Anonymous groups. Many church bod- 
ies, including at least one of our State 
Baptist Conventions, have given AA 
their official sanction. On the local level 
this miracle-working group should be 
encouraged and supported by the min- 
istry and the churches. Orthodoxically 
speaking, the AA may not be casting 
out its demons in the name of Christ, 
but that it is casting out the demons 
of rum in many an enslaved soul there 
can be no doubt. We may be very sure 
that the Master would say of them, 
"He that is not against me is for me." 
AA is basically a spiritual organization. 
To visit one of the meetings is to 
awaken a wistful longing for the old 
time prayer meetings. There one finds 
warmth, fellowship, confidence and 
'•witnessing." Theirs may be a religion 
on secular wheels, but it is moving 
and it is doing things. Let us at least 
be as wise as the Roman Church and 
bring under our wings if and when we 
may movements so deeply religious, 
and so effective. 


Perhaps we cannot hear it said too 
often that we of the non-Roman com- 
munions have infinitely more in com- 
mon than in variation. A Lutheran 
may have a background which historic- 

ally, theologically and culturally is dif. 
f erent from that of a Southern Baptist 
yet both may join hands as Christiar 
brothers on such matters of supreme 
importance as the inspiration of tht 
Scriptures, the lordship and divinity oJ 
Christ, and salvation by grace. Beside 
such towering doctrines as these whicr. 
we all share who will say that modes 
of worship or ecclesiastical machinerj 
or church polity among Protestants are 
the weightier matters? 

Sometimes, however, this solid core 
of unity which willy-nilly has always 
been a fait accompli of most non- 
Roman faiths is lost in the insistence 
of the different sects upon what they 
regard as their distinctive or unique 
doctrines and contributions. These 
distinctives become so easily touted into 
essentials that one wonders not unkind- 
ly if back of it all the basic desire to 
be different does not play a part. This 
is said with no intent to disparage na- 
tural diversities of interpretation of 
church government and ritual, but to 
question whether the importance and 
honor accorded them are not out of 
proportion. They belong, we think, in 
the anise-cummin-and-mint category 
and should be kept there. However 
persuaded we are of their truth and 
importance, they will not do battle 
where today we must fight "like a; 
mighty army" against the forces of, 
militant secularism, nationalism, and 
sheer paganism. "For we have to strug- 
gle," wrote the apostle Paul, "not with 
blood and flesh but with the angelic 
rulers, the angelic authorities, the 
potentates of the dark present, the 
spirit forces of evil in the heavenly 

In his sermon, "The Church's Role 
In America's Future," preached before 
the Chicago Sun Evening Club, Dr. 
Oscar F. Blackwelder declared: "The 
measure of a church's right to live lies 
not in its distinctive doctrines but in 
what it does with those doctrines, in 
the question and problems those doc- 
trines are made to tackle. Neither is 
a church's right to live measured by 
its uniqueness of worship, but by what 



; does with peoples and communities 
hrough that worship. Distinctiveness 
nd uniqueness may mean sectarian- 
sm while the church must be concern- 
d with a total pattern of culture. Thus 
, part of the church's right to existence 
1 its preparedness to do Christ-like 
>attle with non-Christian cultures, as 
oday with militant atheism, dominant 
lationalism and pagan secularism. 
)nly a total body of Christian culture 
an do that. When the church enables 
nen to out-think, out-love and out- 
ive the world, it demonstrates its right 
o existence." 

Can we not put the matter this way: 
iny insistence upon or desire for dis- 
tinctiveness may be shockingly realized 
■vhen we observe how different is the 
:aith we all declare from that of "mil- 
'.tant atheism, dominant nationalism 
ind pagan secularism"? To call our- 
selves by the name of him who was 
xi the world and whom the world knew 
|iot is to place ourselves in a minority 
i:earsomely unique and distinctive. 
What place have the love of enemies, 
forgiveness, universal brotherhood, and 
mimility in the scheme of all these 
Isms? Against these "potentates of the 
lark present" we after twenty cent- 
uries have a witness which is not simply 
ignored or disavowed but aggressively 
challenged by them. Our Master cau- 
tioned us to remember that while we 
^ire in the world we are not of the 
world. To have the same mind in us 
which was in him, that rare combina- 
tion of justice and love and reverence, 
to own him as the Lord of our lives 
and the God of our salvation is dis- 
tinctiveness writ large. That were 
uniqueness enow. It is our only hope 
to out-think, out-love and out-live the 


j Among the many frustrations, to use 
jan overworked word, of the Protestant 
j ministry is a laity so ignorant of the 
political ambitions and successes of the 
Roman Catholic Church of America 
that eyebrows are lifted and intolerance 
hinted when the minister tries to re- 

move this ignorance. The American 
hierarchy through the press, movies 
and radio has done such a bang-up 
job of selling the Protestant public on 
the idea that all religious intolerance 
is on the latter's side that the non- 
Catholic cannot criticise or oppose any 
phase of the political activities of the 
Roman Church without encountering 
the charge — from his own group — of 
religious bigotry and Catholic-baiting. 
The Protestant public has been given a 
guilt complex over its imagined in- 

To see the strongholds of religious 
liberty battered away incessantly, to 
mark the rise of a power which by its 
very nature cannot live with democracy, 
to witness a renascent totalitarianism 
thriving in a land whose very heritage 
of tolerance makes possible the usur- 
pation of its liberties, to see all this and 
then to tell it to a heedless people, 
pained and irritated by such bigotry, is 
frustration indeed. It casts the minister 
in the modern role of Cassandra. We 
have seen, but our people will not be- 
lieve our witness. 

In the November 10 issue of Christ- 
ianity and Crisis Dean Robert E. Pitch 
of the Occidental College in Los An- 
geles, a naval chaplain in the recent 
war — and what chaplain has not had 
his eyes opened? — makes five state- 
ments about the power polity of the 
Roman Catholic Church in America. 
These statements ought to "stab broad 
awake" some of our Protestant laymen 
from their namby-pamby tolerance: 

1. The Roman Catholic Church is a 
power polity that "believes itself divine- 
ly commissioned to hold power and is 
incredibly uncritical of the corruption 
that power works in all human beings 
and institutions that wield it." 

2. The Roman Catholic Church is 
getting this power through its increas- 
ing influence in politics, journalism, 
education, over radio and books. (Re- 
cently a city superintendent of schools, 
already disturbed at the Catholic at- 
tacks on public schools as "godless," 
said he had made the recent discovery 
for himself that Life and Time mag- 


Christian Frontiers 

azines were 100% pro-Catholic. Lord, 
how long?) 

3. "The power of the Catholic Church 
is a power that is incompatible with 
liberty. It militates against freedom of 
inquiry, explicitly repudiates freedom 
of conscience, denies to the other side 
even the right to be heard, and delib- 
erately breeds in its people the un- 
questioning acceptance of authority." 
If there is a better definition of fascism 
I have not seen it. 

4. Compromise or cooperation with 
this power except on the most super- 
ficial level is impossible. Witness the 
mixed marriage or the bans against 
Catholics attending a Protestant service 
even in the military during a war. 

5. "When this power is at its greatest 
it is at its worst. It is at it worst in 
countries like Spain, Italy and Argen- 

tina where it is strongest. It is mos, 
vigorously attacked not in Protestan 
countries but in Catholic countries 
and two of the most progressive Cath 
olic countries — France and Mexico — an] 
the most violently anti-clerical. It is a 1 
its best in a country — the United State ; 
— where it does not yet hold full swajn 
and where it must take root in a cul 
ture that is predominantly pluralistic! 
Protestant and democratic." 

Here is something positively and con . 
vincingly stated. A man can get hi; 
teeth into it. Sell it to the lanquid lay] 
man! We must lay aside every feelinj; 
and delicacy and the weight of antij 
clerical charges that do so heavily 
beset us and proclaim with boldnesij 
and vigor the menace of Roman Cath 
olic totalitarianism to religious liberty' 
in America. 

Christian Education: The Servant 
of Revelation 

by Das Kelley Barnett 

All meaningful education is education 
for living. Christian education is educa- 
tion for Christian living. The founders 
of Harvard taught their students that 
"the main end of life is to know God 
and Jesus Christ which is eternal life." 
Nazi education served a swastika, Sov- 
iet education serves the hammer and 
sickle, but Christian education serves 
a cross. 

As the steward of the many-sided 
wisdom of God in Christ Jesus, Christ- 
ian education would relate that wisdom 
to the students' quest for the abundant 
life. This quest for the abundant life 
is complicated by three problems: the 
breakdown of personality, the conflicts 
in human relations, and the peril of 
atomic annihilation. To these problems, 
Christian education offers the diagnosis 
and the solution. 

Many an individual in our day leads 

a life of "quiet desperation." Horney, i 
practising psychiatrist, writes of Thi 
Neurotic Personality of Our Time. Thr 

modern student is harassed by anxl 
eties, enslaved by fears, tormented b; 
the civil war within, and frustrated ir 
reaching his goals. It is the responsibil 
ity of Christian education to help hin 
find freedom from fear, peace within 
and the satisfaction of solid achieve' 

In the wisdom of the revelatioi 
Christian education teaches: that free^ 
dom from anxiety is found in trusting 
the Father God; that the civil wa: 
within can be stilled only when th( 
arms of the creatures' rebellion agains 
the Creator are laid down and man ii 
reconciled to God in Christ; and tha 
self-realization is only possible througl 
self-renunciation born of obedience t( 
Jesus the Lord of Life. 

Christian Education 


Another problem of our time, to 
vhich Christian education must be ap- 
)lied, is the growing conflicts in human 
■elations. Training in human relations 
I a goal of education. How to make 
friends and influence the boss is a 
major goal for many. Yet with all our 
loiowledge of psychology, the art of 
human relations is snarled. Between 
husband and wife, between manage- 
ment and labor, between class and 
lass, between race and race, conflicts 
multiply. The milk of human kindness 
is curdled. There is an epidemic of hate, 
and the supply of antitoxin is low. It 
is the teaching of Christian education 
that the Kingdom of God is the only 
lasting pattern for human relations, 
that no conflict can be settled until it 
is settled right, in terms of justice 
motivated by love; that the answer to 
hate is not more hate, but more love — 
not the love of man, but the love that 
is shed abroad in our hearts by Jesus 

Modern ways are ways of fear. Man 
mature in the control of nature is in- 
fantile in the control of human nature. 
I walk across the campus with my 
daughter, delighted in the rustle of 
autumn leaves under our feet, and 
thank God for the joy of the present. 
But when I think of the future, I look 
into the sky and hear the roar of 
planes. Man's fear of nature — of flood, 
of storm, of epidemic — is almost gone. 
We do not fear nature; we fear man. 
The scientist shares our fear and 

writes: "I am a frightened man, my- 
self." I hear people talking about the 
possible use of the atomic bomb in war. 
I tell you there must never be another 
war. The main race is the race be- 
tween man's power for evil and his 
power for good; that race is close to a 
decision. The answer to our fear is 
world community. To develop a sense 
of world community is the task of 
education. A world community may be 
formed temporarily by force — remem- 
ber Rome— or a world community may 
be formed by the power of a great 
ideal. Some say that this ideal is the 
brotherhood of man, but Fatherhood 
precedes brotherhood; and to talk a- 
bout brotherhood without Fatherhood 
is to talk about a world of whimpering 
orphans, staggering through the valley 
of death. Here Christian education says 
that men cannot say "my brother" 
until they say "our Father"; and that 
men do not say "our Father" until 
they say that Jesus, the elder brother, 
is the Son of God, who at the cross 
brings God to man and man to God. 
Here Christian education, in its train- 
ing of laymen, ministers, and mission- 
aries, becomes the servant of the 
Word— the instrument of the outreach 
of World Missions. Education is the 
instrument of a philosophy of life. 
Christian education is the servant of a 
revelation that proclaims that Christ 
is our Savior and our Wisdom. And the 
aim of Christian education will ever be 
to bring men to Christ, to teach them 
Christ, to train them for Christ. 

The Alcohol Problem 

by Dr. Clarence Patrick 

Alcoholic beverages are among the 
oldest substances which mankind has 
used. Their use dates far back into 
prehistoric times. Yet, strangely, the 
human race has never been able to 
reach any conclusion about alcohol. 
Millions of people have used and de- 

fended it, and millions have loathed 
and condemned it, but few have under- 
stood its real nature. 

Many people have a notion that the 
problem of alcohol involves only the 
use of a chemical substance, ethyl 
alcohol. They maintain that the solu- 


Christian Frontiers 

tion to the problem lies in prohibiting 
the use of alcohol as a beverage. They 
usually list the harmful effects result- 
ing from its use. To them the problem 
and the solution are just that simple! 
We could well wish that such were the 
case. The alcohol problem has many 

This is a problem on which it is 
difficult for most of us to work objec- 
tively. When our emotions become 
stirred by observing the disastrous and 
dangerous effects of the use of alcohol 
we are prone to adopt some immediate 
measure without inquiring how the 
use of alcohol originated, how firmly it 
is embedded in social custom, what 
makes it survive, and what effective 
steps may be taken toward control. 

No record is to be found of man's 
first use of alcoholic beverages. Fer- 
mented beverages, wines and beers, have 
been known to practically all peoples 
from the dawn of history. The records 
of all ancient civilizations refer to the 
use of alcoholic beverages. The earliest 
of these accounts are found on Egyp- 
tian carvings, in the Hebrew script, 
and on Babylonian tablets. The tradi- 
tions of many American Indian tribes 
include references to ancient customs 
and rites having to do with the in- 
dulgence of the aborigines in native 

Various alcoholic drinks were univer- 
sally regarded as wholesome by the 
early settlers in America. According to 
John Allen Krout, Puritan clergymen, 
Dutch merchants, and Virginia planters 
agreed that the use of alcoholic bever- 
ages was not only beneficial, but also 
necessary. They were quick, however, 
to rebuke excesses as an abuse of na- 
ture's wholesome gifts. There was no 
hostility to the use of intoxicants even 
on the part of the moral and religious 
forces. The church of the colonial days 
did not recognize any evil of great im- 
portance in the use of alcohol. On the 
other hand, the use of liquors was com- 
mon at church functions and especially 
at weddings, church councils, and fun- 
erals. The only phase of the question 

which seemed to arouse opposition wa 

In the latter half of the eighteent] 
century distilled spirits were popula 
with all classes of people. The popular 
ity and low price of whiskey, brandj 
and rum caused intemperance to be 
come widespread. Almost every town o 
any size had a stillhouse of its own. B; 
1792 the annual consumption of liquo: 
equaled two and one-half gallons fo 
each man, woman, and child. Thii 
rate, with minor fluctuations, appear? 
to have held until about 1860. Thei 
from 1860 to 1875 there was a reductio.- 
of about one gallon in the per capita 
consumption of hard liquors. Since 193J 
there has been an increase in the use 
of alcoholic beverages among all classet 
of people. 

No one knows exactly how many peo- 
ple in the United States use alcoholic 
beverages. Dr. E. M. Jellinek of Yale- 
University estimates that fifty million 
use alcoholic beverages. 

A more underlying problem is, why 

does mankind use alcoholic beverages? 

The "reasons" for drinking, i.e., what 

the drinker expects to receive from 

alcohol, may be stated in four classes: 

1. Alcoholic beverages may be used as 
condiments or thirst-quenching drinks 
or simply to add color in connection 
with meals and at social gatherings. It 
is generally foreign to Americans to 
use wine and beer with meals, but this 
usage is a national custom in Prance, 
Germany, and Italy. 

2. Alcoholic beverages may be used 
because of the feeling of exaltation 
which they induce. In such a case the 
desire may be to heighten fun and 
enthusiasm, release inhibitions, social- 
ize, or celebrate. 

3. Alcoholic beverages may be used 
because of the narcotic, or depressant 
effect which they produce. Here the de- 
sire may be for an escape from some- 
thing, to banish anxieties and frustra- 
tions, to relieve tensions, or to get re- 
lief from physical pain. 

4. Alcoholic beverages may be used 
because people desire to conform to 
social custom. The social pressure in a 

The Alcohol Problem 


roup or society where the custom of 
[rinking is widespread often makes it 
lifficult for an individual to abstain. 

If the history of liquor legislation in 
this country has anything to teach us 
I is that often we have imposed on law 
I task which law by itself is not able to 
accomplish. Law has been resorted to 
f n an attempt to overcome the failures 
jf other agencies of social control. We 
lave frequently fallen into the fallacy 
af believing that we could change by 
[aw tendencies which in their nature 
are not easily modified by coercion. It 
is as James Coolidge Carter says: 
'Nothing is more attractive to the 
benevolent vanity of men than the 
notion that they can effect great im- 
provement in society by the simple 
process of forbidding all wrong con- 
duct, or conduct that they think is 
wrong, by law, and of enjoining all good 
conduct by the same means." 

Public standards furnish the basis 
for law. Ordinarily the only standard 
which law has any possibility of en- 
forcing is the standard prevailing in 
the general population and not that 
which obtains in a single group, no 
matter how socially-minded or en- 
lightened it may be. Public standards 
are not created by means of night- 
sticks, but rather through the long, 
slow, and difficult process of education. 
Thus it is through the processes of 
education and conditioning that the 
fundamental approach to the problem 
of alcohol is to be found. 

Government and law have an im- 
portant part to play if they are based 
on the attitudes and desires of the 
public. When government and law are 
backed by strong public support they 
are the chief means of maintaining 
unity and order and of controlling the 
aberrant individuals and groups whose 
behavior is against social welfare. 

Three basic principles for a control 
system are: 

1. The Federal Government should 
prohibit the advertising of all alcoholic 
beverages. This would include adver- 
tising by newspapers, magazines, radio, 

billboards, booklets, leaflets, and other 

2. The Federal Government should 
require a warning label to be placed 
on every bottle of beverage alcohol 
stating the nature of such a beverage 
and the danger involved in its use. 

3. The public revenue-raising motive 
should be divorced, as far as possible, 
from the liquor traffic. To treat liquor 
control mainly as a revenue matter is in 
danger of causing the government to 
further production and sale of alcoholic 
beverages as a profitable business. 
Therefore, all money received by the 
Federal and State Governments from 
taxes and profits on alcoholic beverages 
should be placed in a separate fund. 
After all expenses involved in the con- 
trol system have been deducted, the 
money should be used to help in re- 
moving the need which causes alcoholic 
beverages to be given prominent place 
in our culture. To this end, the funds 
should be spent on educational, social, 
medical, and legislative measures. The 
establishment of adequate hospitals or 
farms for the care and treatment of 
alcohol addicts should be one phase of 
such a program. 

In working toward a solution of the 
alcohol problem, ultimate reliance must 
be placed upon methods that will en- 
able society to modify or remove from 
its cultural system the custom of using 
alcoholic beverages. In other words, the 
alcohol problem, like any other social 
problem, must be treated at sources 
that reach back into the desires, needs, 
attitudes, and habits of the members 
of society. Among the methods by 
which the social custom of using al- 
coholic beverages may be changed, the 
following deserve primary considera- 
tion: (1) the establishment of accept- 
able substitutes for alcoholic beverages, 
(2) a widespread understanding on the 
part of the members of society of the 
nature and effects of the use of al- 
coholic beverages, and (3) the develop- 
ment of a social consciousness concern- 
ing the problems arising out of their 
There must be a recognition of the 


Christian Frontiers 

fact that alcoholic beverages are used 
because people feel that they satisfy 
certain needs and desires. Alcohol does 
give temporary relief from worry, re- 
moves mental tension, disguises diffi- 
culties, obliterates feelings of inferi- 
ority, and offers other momentary 
satisfactions. It is not likely that the 
conditions in any civilized society will 
ever be so ideal that its members will 
be free from needs and desires. Neither 
does it appear probable that mankind 
will not always want something that 
lends "ceremony, color, and fellowship 
to life." If the leaders of a society find 
that the use of alcoholic beverages 
works against personal and social wel- 
fare and efficiency and therefore at- 
tempt to remove the use of such drinks 
from that society, then they should 
seek to establish acceptable substitutes 
for beverage alcohol. In other words, 
abstinence must be made more than a 

What are some of the substitutes 
for alcohol? 

1. More wholesome and enjoyable 
means of recreation and entertainment 
would be among the alternatives to 
alcohol. It is common knowledge that 
athletes in training ordinarily consume 
no liquor. Football and baseball play- 
ers, track men, and contenders for 
championships in various games are, 
with almost no exception, total abstain- 
ers, at least while they are engaged in 
the various sports. They have evidently 
found something which they choose in 
preference to alcoholic beverages. It is 
fairly common knowledge that the av- 
erage American community is sorely 
lacking in suitable means of recreation 
for both its young people and adults. 
More intelligent and ingenious plan- 
ning of social gatherings would serve 
perhaps as well as alcohol to give color, 
life, and fellowship. 

2. The practice of sound principles 
of mental hygiene would help. Millions 
of people have learned how to relax 
or to forget temporarily their worries 
without resorting to the use of alcoholic 
beverages or other narcotics. 

3. Vital religious experience is im- 

portant. Within the past hundred year 
religious people, particularly evangel 
ical Protestants, have revolutionize! 
their thoughts and attitudes regardini 
the use of alcoholic beverages. Earl; 
American religious bodies not Only ap 
proved but also defended the use o 
alcoholic beverages. Today the value 
and standards of most Christian group 
are definitely opposed to the use o 
alcohol as a beverage. Also, many sucl 
groups advocate the belief in a "wa; 
of life" that will enable a person to ge 
along without alcohol. There are case 
in almost every American communit; 
of alcohol addicts who through religioi 
were able to free themselves from th( 
hold which alcohol had upon them 

Perhaps the best illustration of th* 
power of religion to free men from al 
cohol addiction is seen in the result 
of Alcoholics Anonymous, an organiza^ 
tion of ex-alcoholics (they speak ol 
themselves as arrested cases), whicr. 
now maintains chapters in many Amer- 
ican cities. Ministers, physicians, anc 
social workers are increasingly testify- 
ing that this organization's methods arc 
sound and their results promising. Al- 
coholics Anonymous claim that thej 
bring about their "cures" through "mu- 
tual aid" and "a spiritual common de- 
nominator." They say: 

It has been demonstrated that at 
least two out of three alcoholics 
who wish to get well could appar- 
ently do so. 

With few exceptions our members 
find that they have tapped an un- 
suspected inner resource which 
they presently identify with then- 
own conception of a Power greater 
than themselves. 

Most of us think this awareness of 
a Power greater than ourselves the 
essence of spiritual experience. 
The results of scientific investigation 
on the nature and effects of the use 
of alcohol should not be allowed to re- 
main in the library or laboratory. In 
his address as president of the Amer- 
ican Public Health Association in 1936, 
Dr. Haven Emerson said: "Lack of in- 
formation is largely responsible for the 

The Alcohol Problem 


use of alcoholic beverages as if they 
were necessary or in any way useful 
to a healthy man or woman." 

It is largely through education that 
the habits, opinions, and standards of 
the members of a society are changed. 
Of course, it must be acknowledged 
that education is a much-abused term. 
All too often in popular thinking edu- 
cation is looked upon as a final solution 
rather than as a working method. The 
school by itself it able to do little in 
modifying or stabilizing the ideals, hab- 
its, and standards of the individual. 
Other agencies, equally or more influ- 
ential than the school, must be linked 
up in the process. 

Furthermore, certain principles must 
be followed in any educational ap- 
proach, if it is to be effective, on the 
subject of the use of alcoholic bever- 

1. The discussions of the nature and 
effects of alcohol should be based only 
upon established facts. The scientific- 
ally accepted findings regarding the 
dangers involved in the use of alcohol 
are so disturbing that they do not need 
embellishing. Instruction on alcohol 
that exaggerates and misleads ulti- 
mately tends to defeat its own purpose. 

2. The approach to the question of 
alcohol should be in the spirit of free 
discussion and based on a desire for an 
unprejudiced dissemination of facts. 
The leaders in an educational program 
should be of tolerant spirit, and possess 
a broad and scientific understanding 
of the problems of alcohol. 

3. The main emphasis of instruction 
on alcohol should be based upon life, 
health, personal and social efficiency 
and welfare rather than upon the 
horrors of disease and death. The av- 
erage person cannot be frightened into 
good behavior or browbeaten into ac- 
cepting a particular pattern of living. 
Too much of the temperance teaching 
of the past has followed such methods 
and thus has been, as someone has said, 
a "pedagogical monstrosity." 

What are the agencies that should 
assume the responsibility in educating 
the members of society on the nature 

and effects of the use of alcoholic 
beverages? First and foremost, it seems, 
comes the family. Our ideals, standards, 
and values have not only grown up, to 
a large extent, in the family and the 
other intimate, or face-to-face groups, 
but they are also, to a very large de- 
gree, transmitted from individual to 
individual through such groups. The 
child can probably get the meaning of 
the use of alcoholic beverages better 
through the family group than he can 
through any other agency. What a 
child learns by precept and example 
from members of the family is likely 
more influential than what he learns 
from any other source. 

A second agency that has an impor- 
tant part to play in alcohol education 
is the school. However, at this point, 
certain difficulties are encountered. 
What shall a school teach about al- 
cohol? What shall be the aim of its 
instruction? Today all but one of the 
states have laws requiring public 
school temperance instruction. In many 
of the states the schools face the 
problem of determining what is meant 
by "temperance instruction." Does it 
mean total abstinence or moderation in 
the use of alcoholic beverages? The 
dry forces in using the term temper- 
ance usually mean total abstinence, 
while the anti-drys in using the term 
mean moderation. Perhaps such un- 
certainty and lack of definition are 
among the main causes for the per- 
functory and inadequate program of 
alcohol education in many states. 

It now seems evident that the only 
educational program on beverage al- 
cohol that will enlist the interest and 
respect of students and teachers is one 
that faces the problem as a whole and 
one that, in an unbiased manner, con- 
siders all the available knowledge on 
the subject. It will also be a program 
that relates the facts of alcohol to 
every-day living. 

A third agency that may have wide 
influence in alcohol education is the 
church. Church leaders and church 
organizations have played a vital role 
in the temperance education of the 


Christian Frontiers 

past hundred years. In its function as 
an educational institution it has an im- 
portant part to play in developing a 
realistic understanding of the nature 
and effects of the use of alcoholic bev- 
erages. The teaching and training pro- 
gram of religious groups may be highly 
effective if based on established facts, 
made interesting, and adapted to every- 
day living. A religious group of young 
people in one American city conducted 
a clinic, "Youth Looks at Alcohol." 
Some of the subjects for discussion 
were as follows: "What Liquor Costs 
the People of Our Country," "Radio 
Advertising of Beer," "The Liquor Ads," 
and "What We Saw at the Honky- 
tonks." Such activities, directed by able 
leaders well informed on the alcohol 
problem, should be of significant edu- 
cational value. 

Also, the church has the opportunity 
of setting high moral standards before 
its members and the community. Many 
churches have a covenant by which the 
members agree "to abstain from the 
sale and use of intoxicating drinks as 
a beverage." 

A fourth influence of wide character 
in alcohol education may be adult edu- 
cation groups. If alcohol education is 
to be truly effective, it must go beyond 
the limits of the home, the school, and 
the church. It is possible that adult 

education groups could focus attention 
on the problems of alcohol and bring 
together men and woman interested in 
learning the facts about alcohol and 
in maintaining a sober society. It seems 
that such groups could be greatly 
assisted by the State Boards of Edu- 
cation, various public institutions, med- 
ical societies, the church, and other 
civic agencies. 

The majority of the American people 
have looked upon the use of alcoholic 
beverages as being an individual mat- 
ter. However, it is evident that the use 
of intoxicating beverages in a modern 
society is far more than an individual 
problem. Ours is a highly interdepend- 
ent society. The behavior of each mem- 
ber of a group has a definite relation- 
ship to the welfare of the group as a 

If the members of a society possess 
strong convictions as to what is right 
and what is wrong, what is useful and 
what is detrimental, and what works 
for and what works against personal 
and social efficiency, then it seems that 
something can and will be done about 
the great social problems. They will 
make a strong and intelligent attempt 
to control the use of alcoholic beverages 
when they recognize that their use is 
affecting adversely life, health, and 
personal and social welfare. 

Christ and the Sword 

by Tucker N. Calloway 

During the recent war many Christ- 
ian young men were called upon to. face 
the question: can I, as a follower of 
Jesus Christ, conscientiously take up 
arms against my fellow man? It was 
a difficult question. Obviously, war was 
wrong; no Christian wanted to kill; 
but would it not be worse still to per- 
mit ruthless pagan elements to over- 
run the world? 

While a student at the Baptist Sem- 
inary in Louisville, Kentucky, I, too, 

was called upon to face the question. 
Always, my attitude toward Christian 
participation in war had been that kill- 
ing was bad, but domination by the 
Nazis was worse. At this time, wishing 
to be sure of my position, I turned to 
the New Testament to find what Jesus 
taught on this matter of physical war- 
fare as a means of defending righteous- 

This Bible study forced me to a very 
disconcerting conclusion. I found my- 

Christ and the Sword 


self swept against my will into the 
conviction that Jesus' teaching leaves 
no room for war as a means to peace. 
As a result, I became a conscientious 
objector to military service. Subsequent 
study, prayer, and experience have con- 
firmed this stand. 

Let us look at some of the teachings 
of Jesus that appears to favor this 
conclusion. After that, we will examine 
some of the passages in which men 
claim to have found justification for 
Christians to wage war. 

1. Matthew 5:21f: You have heard 
that it was said to the men of old, 
"You shall not kill . . ." But I say 
to you, that every one who is angry 
with his brother shall be liable to 
judgment . . . 

Here Jesus plainly reaffirms the Old 
Testament commandment, "Thou shalt 
not kill." And then goes farther to 
state that anger against another is in 
the same category with killing. I can 
find nothing conditional in these verses. 
In the last war, one of the items in 
the basic training of most soldiers was 
to get them angry with the Nazis and 
the "Japs." If you attended bayonet 
practice, perhaps you heard the in- 
structor urging his men to more en- 
thusiasm as they charged their dum- 
mies: "Come on, get mad at 'em!" 
Jesus said that we shall neither kill, 
nor be angry. 

2. Along these same lines comes the 
familiar, Matthew 5:43-46: You 
have heard that . . . "You shall 
love your neighbor and hate your 
enemy." But I say to you, love your 
enemies and pray for those who 
persecute you, so that you may be 
true sons of your Father who is 
in heaven . . . 

There is nothing new in loving the 
folks at home and hating those who 
come against them to do them harm. 
You have all heard that, said Jesus. 
But, he continues, it is wrong. Then, 
he presents his alternative to hate. 
Jesus tells us here what he would have 
us do to those who offer us violence: 
love them, pray for them. The intention 
of love is to benefit its object. Can you 

kill a man you love, knowing that when 
you take his life you send him into 
eternity, lost from God? What can you 
pray for him whom you are about to 
destroy? Though I have tried, I have 
not been able to discover how I could 
kill a man through love for him. 
3. But let us move to a third passage, 
Matthew 5:38-41: You have heard 
that it was said, "An eye for an 
eye and a tooth for a tooth." But 
I say to you, Do not resist one who 
is evil. But if any one strikes you 
on the right cheek, turn to him the 
other also; and if any one would 
sue you and take away your coat, 
let him have your cloak as well; 
and if one forces you to go one 
mile, go with him two miles. 
Some say that Jesus did not mean for 
people to do these things he taught. 
Such things are too much for frail 
human beings. I wonder, if Jesus did 
not mean for us to live these teachings, 
why he closed his Sermon on the Mount 
with the statement that "Whosoever 
heareth these sayings of mine, and 
doeth them, I will liken him unto a 
wise man, which built his house upon 
a rock." When Jesus commanded his 
disciples not to resist one who is evil, 
I believe he meant us to live that 
way. To leave no room for doubt con- 
cerning his meaning he followed this 
statement about renouncing resistance 
with illustrations of its application in 
three areas of life. He says, Do not re- 
sist one who is evil when he attacks 
(1) your body (strikes your right 
cheek); (2) your property (takes your 
coat) ; (3) your freedom (forces you to 
go one mile). He says, rather than re- 
sist the aggressor, co-operate with him. 
Go the second mile. In this, he has 
stated for all times the one means a 
man has of overcoming the evil disposi- 
tion of another toward himself. We did 
not overcome the enmity which the 
Nazis have toward us by conquering 
them in battle; but Jesus overcame the 
world when he let itnail him to the 

4. Finally, may we give attention to 
two other passages in which it appears 


Christian Frontiers 

to me Jesus rules the Christian from 
battle. They both come from the hours 
immediately preceding his crucifixion. 

In Matthew 26:47-56 we find Jesus 
putting into practice those things he 
taught in the Sermon on the Mount. A 
great crowd had come against him 
armed with swords and clubs; his dis- 
ciples were ready to defend him to the 
death. In an instant Peter's sword sang 
from its sheath, flashed a lightning 
reflection of torch blaze, and descend- 
ed! Before anyone could hinder, he had 
tried to split a man's head. Jesus wheel- 
ed on Peter to issue him a sharp com- 
mand. "Put your sword back into its 
place!" As a reason for this rebuke, he 
added, "for all who take the sword will 
perish by the sword." I understand this 
to mean that Jesus thought the use 
of arms is vain, and that violence be- 
gets violence. "All who take the sword 
will perish by the sword." 

Early the next morning, Jesus had 
occasion further to clarify this view. 
In John 18:33-36 he had allowed him- 
self to be taken by the mob. Now he 
stands before Pilate accused by the 
Jews of attempting to lead a revolt 
against the Roman Empire to be 
crowned king of the Jewish nation. 
Jesus denies the charge by saying, 
"My kingdom is not of this world." He 
had no desire for political power. To 
prove it, he continues, "If my kingdom 
were of this world, then would my ser- 
vants have fought that I might not 
have been handed over to the Jews." 

The sword is a logical tool in the 
hand of man whose desire is set upon 
the kingdoms of this world; but for 
those who seek the kingdom of the 
spirit a sword is superfluous. Ponder 
this question deeply: which of the 
things for which Jesus teaches us to 
live is either destructible, or defend- 
able, by military might? I have yet to 
see a cannon that can kill kindness, a 
tank that can trammel truth, or a fir- 
ing squad that can frighten unfeigned 
faith. The values for which Christ lived 
and died are not in jeopardy before any 
weapon this world may produce. Sure 
of this, Christ could thrill us with his 

song of victory, "Be of good cheer, 
have overcome the world!" 

In the above you see the chief scrip- 
tures that brought me to the position 
of conscientious objector to Christian 
military participation. Since arriving 
at this inconvenient conclusion I have 
seized upon every scriptural objection 
to it that has been suggested. But as 
I have studied these passages which are 
supposed to indicate that Christ did 
not oppose military service for Christ- 
ians, one by one, they have gone to 
pieces in my hands. 

Some of the reasons given for be- 
lieving Christ sanctioned war are as 
follows : 

1. It is pointed out that there were 
religious wars in the Old Testament, 
and that Christ supported the Old 
Testament. This is true. But Christ also 
said he had come to clarify and supple- 
ment the Old Testament. As he said, 
"If you have seen me, you have seen 
the Father." Consequently, if Jesus 
teaches there is a still higher way than 
righteous war to overcome the enemies 
of God, I choose to follow him, rather 
than a lesser guide, even if it be the 
Old Testament. He is the final author- 

2. When Jesus found the money 
makers in the temple he made a whip 
and drove them forth, overturning the 
tables. Unquestionably, here we find 
Jesus using force to attain his end. 
But this is an entirely different situa- 
tion from that of war. Assuredly, it 
shows that Jesus would approve spank- 
ing a child when he misbehaves, for 
his own good. What Jesus did in the 
temple that day, he did as much from 
love of the offenders as from love of 
his Father's house. Jesus did not kill 
the money changers or the sellers of 
oxen. The motive for his violence was 
love of them, and his purpose was their 

When a G.I. shot a Nazi, there was 
no prospect of correction so far as that 
Nazi was concerned. I can discover 
nothing in Jesus' cleansing of the tem- 
ple that gives sanction to war. 

3. Then, there are his famous words, 

Christ and the Sword 


"Render unto Caesar the things that 
are Caesar's, and unto God the things 
that are God's." In Matthew 22:15-22 
some trouble makers were attempting 
to get Jesus to make a treasonable 
statement against the Roman Emperor. 
Testing him, they asked, "Is it lawful 
to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?" But 
Jesus would not fall into their trap. 
"Show me the money for the tax." 
Holding up the coin they gave him, he 
asked, "Whose picture is this stamped 
on the coin?" They answered, "Cae- 
sar's." He said to them, "Render, there- 
fore, to Caesar the things that are 
Caesar's, and to God the things that 
are God's." 

From this statement many have de- 
duced that we owe the Caesars of the 
world unhesitating obedience in times 
of war. When the leaders of the state 
sound the call to battle, they say, it 
is the wish of Christ that we comply. 
But Jesus also said something about 
giving God the things that are his. 
True enough, the tax coin was Caesar's. 
It was stamped with his image. Nobody 
doubts that taxes belong to the king- 
doms of the world. 

But, what are the things that are 
God's? What belongs to him? What 
is it that is stamped with his image? 
The Bible tells us it is Man! "In the 
image of God created he him." The 
governments of the world are in their 
place when they seek to regulate the 
taxes. But who says an earthly govern- 
ment has the heaven-born right to 
command God's creatures to destroy 
God's creatures? When a Christian re- 
ceives orders from God that conflict 
with the orders of his nation, which 
should be obey? A real disciple of 
Jesus will not need to grope for an 
answer. God's will is above all! 

4. Many say Jesus showed he was not 
opposed to military participation be- 
cause in his dealings with the Cent- 
urion who came to him (Matthew 8:5- 
13; Luke 7:1-10) there is no record of 
his demanding this Roman soldier to 
leave his profession. In this connection, 
you will recall that Paul also did not 
require Philemon to release his slave 

Onesimus before becoming a Christian. 
Just as it is possible for a man to be at 
the same time a slave-holder and a 
Christian, he may also be a soldier and 
a Christian. We are not saved by works 
but by faith in a loving God. We begin 
the Christian life as little children in 
understanding. At the outset we are to 
be fed on milk. Only as we begin to 
reach maturity will Christ give us 
meat. Anyone who knows the ways of 
dealing with a new Christian will 
quickly see that even if Jesus did hold 
non-participation in war as a higher 
ideal than military service, he would 
hardly have expected the Centurion to 
be ready for such a revolutionary idea 
in the first days of his Christian life. 
5. Last of all we will speak of the 
two times in which Jesus appears to 
speak in favor of the sword as an in- 
strument in his service. 

The first is Luke 22:36, 38. Jesus knew 
it was his last night with his disciples. 
With all his heart he wanted to pre- 
pare them for the difficulties which he 
realized lay ahead for them. Among 
other things, he said to them, "And let 
him who has no sword sell his mantle 
and buy one." One of the disciples 
answered with concern, "Look, Lord, 
here are two swords." And he said to 
them, "It is enough." Some have inter- 
preted these words of Jesus to mean 
that he was commanding his disciples 
to carry weapons for their protection. 
They forget what happened when 
Peter, a few hours later, tried to use 
a sword. We have already noticed how 
Jesus rebuked him and had him to put 
away his sword. The question naturally 
arises, then, what did the Master mean 
when he urged, "And let him who has 
no sword sell his mantle and buy one?" 
Dr. A. T. Robertson writes of this 
passage (Word Pictures, Vol. 2, P. 271), 
"The reference is to the special mission 
(of the disciples) in Galilee. They are 
to expect persecution and bitter hos- 
tility. Jesus does not mean that his 
disciples are to repel force by force, but 
they are to bp ready to defend his cause 
against attack . . . This language can 
be misunderstood (today) as it was 


Christian Frontiers 

then . . . They took his words literally." 
Jesus was not instructing his disciples 
to defend the cause with a sword. That 
was Mohammed's view. The Lord had 
simply spoken of the sword in a sym- 
bolic sense. He was preparing the dis- 
ciples for warfare against temptations, 
rejection, and persecution: spiritual 
warfare, not physical. When they mis- 
understood him and held up the two 
real swords, with a weary smile of 
disappointment at their blindness, he 
said with gentle sarcasm, O yes, two 
swords will be enough. Christ neither 
here nor elsewhere proposes that 
Christians arm themselves for physical 
combat with hostile forces. 

The other, and more familiar of 
Jesus' remarks about swords misunder- 
stood to mean that he did not oppose 
Christians going to war is Matthew 
10:34. "Do not think I have come to 
bring peace on earth," he said, "I have 
not come to bring peace, but a sword." 
In this, it is insisted, we have the 
Master asserting that he not only per- 
mits military occupations for his fol- 
lowers, but that he had come into the 
world to start wars. Those who hold 
this literal interpretation of Jesus' 
words have not seriously examined the 
context. For Jesus goes on to illustrate 
his meaning. Matthew 10:35f: "For I 
have come to set a man against his 
father, and a daughter against her 
mother . . . and a man's foes will be 
those of his own household." Can any- 
one who knows the Lord believe that 
he expected his disciples to use a sword 
of cold steel against the members of 
then- own household? I think not. "I 
have not come to bring peace, but a 
sword . . . and a man's foes will be 
those of his own household." His mean- 
ing is not obscure. In this, the Master 
is simply describing the consequences 
when a member of a non-Christian 
family becomes a Christian. For ex- 
ample, as sometimes happens here in 
Hawaii, when a daughter of a Buddhist 
home goes over to the Christian re- 
ligion she finds her own father and 
mother antagonistic. She may even be 
forced to leave the home. When the 

Lord speaks of himself as bringing, in- 
stead of peace, a sword, he is not con- 
doning physical warfare. He is de- 
scribing in vivid poetic language the 
inevitability of family troubles when 
some members are Christians and 
others oppose. 

All that has been said can be sum- 
med up very briefly. Through Bible 
study, I have been brought to the 
conviction that Christ prefers his fol- 
lowers not to participate in war. We 
find him speaking against hate, kill- 
ing, and violence, but favoring love of 
enemies and aggressive good will. On 
the other hand, we cannot find any 
place where he gives his slightest con- 
sent to the idea that under certain 
conditions a Christian might be expect- 
ed to take up arms against his fellow 

Since these things are true, since 
Christ did teach that when we are 
faced by the aggression of Godless 
enemies there is a higher way to com- 
bat it than by taking up the sword, 
what is this way? What should be a j 
disciple's response? Should he say, 
"Jesus may have taught it, but I think 
it is foolishness, so I will not obey?" 
If so, then many of us have a mistaken 
conception of the meaning of disciple- 
ship. If Christ is Master and Lord, it 
seems to follow that we are his obedient 
slaves. We sing, "Wherever he leads 
I'll go." Do we mean to add the qualifi- 
cation, "Wherever he leads I'll go on 
the condition that I think where he 
leads is the most sensible direction"? 
I think this: Since Jesus is God's only 
begotten son; since, as he said, his 
life is a perfect reflection of God's will 
to us; then we can be sure that wher- 
ever he leads is best, regardless of what 
mere human minds may think of it. 

From studying the life and words of 
Jesus I have come to believe that he 
taught the ways of love, exclusive of 
the ways of battle. Therefore, God be- 
ing my helper, I will not deliberately 
kill, or in any way assist others to kill, 
any man. Instead, I take the words of 
Paul, "Be not overcome of evil; but 
overcome evil with good." 

Book Review 

Preface to Critical Reading by Richard 
D. Altick. New York: Henry Holt and 
Co. 321 pp. $1.60. 

Of course you know how to read, 
else you wouldn't be reading this re- 
view. But do you really know what you 
read? Does your reading dig "beneath 
the surface attempting to find out not 
only the whole truth about what is 
being said, but also (and this is, in the 
long run, more important) the hidden 
implications and motives of the writ- 
er?" Professor Altick's fascinating little 
book will enable you to bring a new 
critical awareness to your reading, to 
guard more carefully your own utter- 
ances from the dangers of circumlocu- 
tion, euphemism, glittering generalities, 
cliches, "newspaperese," and some of 
the other ills that have made reading 
so cheap and writing so profitable. 

Every speaker or writer who values 
his freedom of mind, who wishes to 
play fair with his audiences will find 
in Professor Altick's provocative treat- 
ment of the art of reading a challenge. 
Here is no pedantic presentation of 
stale rules; here is a fresh approach 
to the problem of saying things simp- 
ly — expressed through the medium of 
an expose of the shallow, hypocritical, 
insincere, and often deliberately mere- 
tricious writing that fills our journals, 
blares from our radios, and yes, echoes 
from our pulpits. 

Let me digest briefly one bit from 
the chapter "connotation and denota- 
tion," the discussion on glittering gen- 
eralities. A writer calls Mr. X, a high 
government official, a communist. Act- 
ually he has liberal tendencies and 
probably reads the New Republic. But 
the listener immediately thinks "I 
don't like communists. They are a 
godless people, practice free love, have 
a low standard of living, speak a bar- 
barous tongue, don't have freedom of 
the press, have the world's most ruth- 
less secret police, send people to Siberia, 
and are trying to overthrow all the 

governments of the world. All these 
things are terrible; therefore commun- 
ists are dangerous and diabolical. You 
say this man is a communist? All 
right then, THROW HIM OUT OF 

"In other words: A (Mr. X) is B (a 
communist) [there is no proof that he 
is]; I don't like B [on no good grounds, 
because I am confused and misinform- 
ed on a number of important points); 
therefore I don't like A. 

"To find all the lapses of logic in that 
simple statement would be the occupa- 
tion of an hour — but never would an 
hour be more instructively spent. Yet 
the world rings with condemnations 
which are just as irrational, and people 
believe them because it is far easier 
to paste a label on a bottle than to 
analyze its contents." 

Similarly, when the candidate for 
office affirms "We must protect our 
sacred heritage, the American way of 
life," two listeners, thinking of what 
they mean by this phrase, get entirely 
opposite impressions. To the laborer it 
means high wages, monopolies forbid- 
den, labor unions protected, equal op- 
portunity, etc. To the factory owner it 
means no government interference in 
free enterprise, control of labor unions 
by restrictive laws, the right to make 
all the money he can, etc. 

"Who is going to be disappointed 
after the candidate takes office and 
begins making decisions? He cannot 
serve two masters; yet both voted for 
him because he favored what they 
favored — a vague phrase which was 
bound to please them, so long as it re- 
mained undefined." 

Even more stimulating are the chap- 
ters on logic and on reading news- 
papers. Certainly the book is a lively 
presentation of the new doctrines with 
which present-day teachers are at- 
tempting to combat the deleterious 
forces which through press, radio, and 
advertising are constantly weakening 



Christian Frontiers 

the powers of discrimination and cul- 
tivating morons who may well become 
the dupes of some future Hitler. 
Against these forces, to which we all 
are subjected, Professor Altick's book, 
like Stuart Chase's The Tyranny of 
Words, Mortimer Adler's How to Read 
a Book, and Rudolph Flesch's The Art 
of Plain Talk, are welcome counter- 

—A. C. Howell 
University of North Carolina 

Dachau Sermons by Martin Niemoller. 
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1946. 
97 pp. $1.50. 

"Would God I, too, might spend eight 
years in a concentration camp," ex- 
claims the minister as he finishes read- 
ing Dachau Sermons, "if it could help 
me to preach sermons like that!" For 
seldom has this reviewer come across 
sermons as pertinent to the needs of 
the congregation as these six, preached 
to nine prisoners at Dachau, from 
Christmas Eve, 1944, to Easter Mon- 
day, 1945. 

The sermons here included are those 
delivered on church holidays over a 
period of slightly more than three 
months and are based on the proscribed 
gospel for a given day, as found in the 
Lutheran book of worship. That Nie- 
moller is able to take a text which has 
been predetermined for use in a par- 
ticular service and give to his messages 
such relevancy, is testimony to the fact 
that here is really great preaching. 
Says Pastor Niemoller, "It is the pe- 
culiarity of the word of God that it 
demands to be heard by us in any 
situation and at any time, because in 
any situation and at any time it has 
the message we need." 

These six sermons are life-situation 
preaching at its best. 

— Charles B. McConnell 
Pastor, Franklinton 
Baptist Church 

The Spirit of Chinese Culture by 

Francis C. M. Wei. Charles Scribner's 

Sons, New York, 1947. 186 pp. $2.75. 
Wei's The Spirit of Chinese Culture, 

containing the Hewett Lectures for 
1946, comes from the well known pres- 
ident of Hua Chung University, Wuch- 
ang, China. It is a study of the mora! 
tradition and religion of the Chinese 
people by a scholar who is both a 
Christian and a Chinese. It begins with 
a discussion of the relationship between 
Christianity and Chinese Culture and 
ends with some remarkable suggestions 
for making Christianity indigenous in, 
China. As a basis for these suggestions, 
four chapters are offered: Confucian- 
ism in Chinese History, Confucianism. 
as Moral Philosophy, Buddhism and Its 
Cultural Effects in China, The Taoist, 
Religion and the Religion of the People 
in China. It is not a book on compara- 
tive religion, but rather a study of the 
living relationships between World 
Christianity and Chinese religions. Ill 
is the first book to appear on this 
subject in recent years. 

It is said that one of the Prime 
Ministers of Japan during the days oi 
the Occupation was accustomed to send; 
his workers to China, each with a copj 
of the Analects in his pocket. They 
were informed that the Analects con- 
tained the key to a successful career' 
in China. One would like something oi 
the sort to be done for each Americar 
planning to live in China. To each 
business man, missionary, diplomat, oi 
publicist should be given a copy of Dr 
Wei's little volume. In it is distilled 
wisdom for living among the Chinese 

Twenty years ago the Christian Col- 
leges of China were staffed and ad- 
ministered by missionary scholars. To- 
day their administration and instruc- 
tion is largely Chinese. This transfei 
of leadership has begun to pay divid- 
ends. This book is the attempt of z 
Chinese Christian leader to discharge i 
responsibility that World Christianitj 
has laid upon him. He has not failed' 
us and for that we should be grateful} 
— J. Hundley Wiley 
University of Richmond 


HAMILTON, N. Y. — Climaxing 12 
pears of research and writing, volume 
one of A Baptist Bibliography projected 
to fill 25 volumes has been completed 
oy Edward C. Starr, curator of the 
Samuel Colgate Baptist Historical Col- 
lection at Colgate University, and pub- 
lished by the Judson Press, Philadel- 
phia. The project is sponsored by the 

Volume one, covering only authors 
whose names begin with A, includes 
2,500 of the 70,000 references which 
Mr. Starr has compiled for listing in 
the completed series. He reports that 
the B section is three times as exten- 
sive, but will be published in two vol- 
jumes. Some sections, such as I-J-K, 
will be combined. 

First work of its kind attempted in 
the United States, A Baptist Biblio- 
graphy represents a wide cross section 
of religious opinion since 1590 inasmuch 
as it covers materials written against 
Baptists and the Baptist position as 

well as materials written by Baptists. 

The bibliography, according to Mr. 
Starr, is expected to be especially use- 
ful to researchers in theology, philos- 
ophy, history and the social sciences. 
The A section alone covers almost 1,000 
subjects, among them amusements, 
crime, dancing, divorce, levity, pro- 
fanity, secret societies and smoking. 

More than 30 Baptists seminaries and 
colleges have cooperated with Mr. Starr 
to make the bibliography possible and, 
through the generosity of Russell Col- 
gate, New York City, Mr. and Mrs. 
Starr were able to spend several months 
in Washington checking their listings 
against those in the Library of Con- 

According to Mr. Starr, more than 
40 per cent of the works listed in the 
new volume are on file in the Samuel 
Colgate Baptist Historical Collection 
which, with 17,000 volumes and 150,000 
pamphlets, is now the largest collection 
of Baptist materials in North America, 

Newly Published 


Books for 1Q48 

Pillars of Faith 

Nels F. S. Ferre' 

An acknowledged leader in theological 
thought in America turns in this refresh- 
ingly new book to a simple exposition of 
five pillars which support the Christian 
today. A needed guide to clear thinking 
about religion. SI. 50 

The Kingship of Christ 

W. A. Visser 'T Hooft 

The secretary of the World Council of 
Churches, conversant with the ferment in 
European theology today, makes an impor 
tant contribution to contemporary relig- 
ious thought in a realignment of thought 
and action following the role of Christ 
as King. si. 75 

Books of Faith and Power 

John T. McNeill 

Six classics of Protestantism are here interpreted in their historical and re- 
ligious setting and the lives of their famous authors: Martin Luther John 
Calvin. Richard Hooker. William Law, John Bunyan and John Weslev. "Comes 
very near to being an essential volume on the shelf of every minister'" — Pulnit 
Book Club Bulletin. $2 00 

These Shared His Passion, 
Cross and Power 

Edwin McNeill Poteat 

An omnibus edition of three books on the 
Forty Days, designed for meditations and 
services. Xow the reader mav follow, in a 
single volume, the events "of the trial, 
crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, seen 
through the lives of the kev figures in 
those weeks. SI 95 

Revive Thy Church 
Beginning With Me 

Samuel M. Shoemaker 

Dr. Shoemaker, popular author, calls this 
new book for pre-Easter reading a "how" 
book. Here he puts down, in direct, con-> 
versational style, some of the ways and 
means that he has found, in his long fruit- 
ful ministry, effective for genuine Christ- 
ian living. It is a book on evangelism, 
written to inspire both clergv and laitv to 
revitalize their own faith and' to make that 
faith contagious to others. SI. 50 

49 E. 33rd Street 

at your bookseller 


New York 16, New York 




* 4 *<*» 

<**£* c 


In This Issue: 

DO THEY "KNOW" THE BIBLE? Dr, Almonte C. Howell 


PREACHERS Josephus Daniels 

ATOMS AND MEN Professor Carl T. Bahner 

RENDER UNTO CAESAR Professor R. F. Howes 

Publication of the Baptist Book Club, Incorporated 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 

Vol. II FEBRUARY, 1948 No. 


William W. Finlator, Editor-in-Chief 
Marjorie E. Moore, Advisory Editor Almonte C. Howell, Book Editc 

J. O. Bailey, Managing Editor Sara Lowery, Poetry Editor 


W. O. Carver, Louisville, Ky. j. c. Wilkinson, Athens, Ga. 

H. B. Cross, Nashville, Tenn. Swan Hayworth, Vicksburg, Miss. 

George B. Cutten, Chapel Hill, N. C. Withrow T. Holland, Hay'nesville, hi 

J. M. Dawson, Washington, D. C. Adiel J. Moncrief, St. Joseph, Mo. 

Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. Blake Smith, Austin, Texas 

Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C. Hubert R. Howard, Jr., Tulsa, Okla. 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 
Fred B. Helms John McGinnis 

Carl Lee Ousley A. C. McCall 

R. K. Redwine Wilbur W. Hutchins 


Editorials 22 

Do They "Know" the Bible? Dr. Almonte C. Howell .. 22! 

A Layman Speaks to Young Preachers Josephus Daniels 22! 

Atoms and Men Professor Carl T. Bahner 231 

Render Unto Caesar Professor R. F. Howes... 23.' 

Book Reviews 23* 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July and August) by the Baptist Booh 
Club, a non-profit fellowship of ministers and laymen. Address all correspondence tc 
Box 508, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 by the Baptist Book Club. Enterec 
as second class matter February 6, 1947 at the post office at Chapel Hill, N. C. under tht 
Act of March 3, 1879. Subscription price, two dollars a year; twenty-five cents a copy 
Printed by The Graphic Press, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina. 



Christian Frontiers, founded and 
operated by a book club, is naturally 
book-review conscious. Its editors de- 
sire to publish reviews of the best cur- 
rent literature, especially books bear- 
ing upon religion. Since the observa- 
tion of the mournful preacher that 
there is no end of making many books 
is abundantly true today, the task of 
bringing the attention of our readers 
'to only the best books calls for dis- 
l crimination. Pursuant of this policy 
! our book editor, Professor A. C. Howell, 
| of the Department of English of the 
University of North Carolina, is re- 
ceiving books from the publishing 
houses and mailing them to our book 
members and other friends with a re- 
quest for reviews. Professor Howell 
will be happy to receive unsolicited 
reviews from any subscriber. 


Christian Frontiers has frequently 
spoken, we fear, with insufficient meek- 
ness, but never with any pretension to 
oracular wisdom. We have tried to 
make Christian Frontiers an organ for 
unfettered expression, and at the same 
time to state positive editorial opinions 
on many of the issues, often controver- 
sial, of our day. To do otherwise would 
be to forfeit our fundamental raison d' 
etre. However, the best-intentioned 
"free" publications have stumbled into 
the pitfalls of the "illiberalism of 
liberalism." Our tone may seem at 
times exalted, our methods cocksure. 
There is no better corrective to this 
tendency than a stream of letters from 
objecting and even outraged readers 
offering protests and expressing coun- 
ter opinions. Although space is limit- 
ed, we invite our readers to write our 
peoples' forum, not only out of dis- 
agreement and indignation, but also 
out of responsibility. 


Appearing in this issue is an address 
delivered by the late Josephus Daniels, 
a few months before his death in 
January, to the young ministers of the 
North Carolina Methodist Conference. 
Christian Frontiers is grateful to his 
son, Jonathan Daniels, for permission 
to print this address. It is a message 
from a gallant-hearted layman to 
gallant-hearted ministers. Daniels's 
eight "don'ts" to ministers have some- 
thing of a classic touch to them and 
ought somehow to find their way into 
the Lyman Abbott Lectures on Preach- 
ing, just as Congressmen, with far less 
justification, incorporate speeches in 
the Congressional Record. 

No layman could be more qualified 
than Mr. Daniels for such an address. 
Among the many tributes paid this 
venerable editor and statesman, too 
little reference has been made to his 
church statesmanship. Yet he brought 
to his church, on both local and de- 
nominational levels, the same energies, 
wisdom, and devotion with which he 
transformed a small city newspaper 
into an institution or served his coun- 
try as Secretary of the Navy and 
Ambassador. In councils and in con- 
ferences the Methodist Church has had 
for over two generations no wiser, abler, 
or more willing servant. The man who 
held public office under every Demo- ' 
cratic president since the Civil War 
was a pillar in Methodism. We get an 
insight into this loyalty and leadership 
from his words: "I can truly say that 
if the voice of God had called me to 
the ministry in my young manhood, as 
my Mother hoped, I would have gladly 
said, 'Here am I. Send me'." 


It seems the fashion to quote Arnold 
Toynbee. In his discussion of the 
growth of civilizations the reflective 



Christian Frontiers 

British historian writes: "Times of 
trouble produce militarism, which is a 
perversion of the human spirit in the 
channels of mutual destruction, and 
the most successful militarist becomes, 
as a rule, the founder of a universal 
state. Geographical expansion is a by- 
product of this militarism . . . Militar- 
ism . . . has become by far the com- 
monest cause of the breakdown of 
civilizations during the last four to 
five millennia that are on record up to 
the present time. Militarism breaks a 
civilization down by causing the local 
states into which the society is artic- 
ulated to collide with one another in 
destructive fratricidal conflicts." 

Dr. Toynbee's colleagues in the Unit- 
ed States evidently incline to this view, 
if the recent action of the Association 
of American Colleges is representative. 
Meeting in Cincinnati on January 13, 
the Association, representing 700 liberal 
arts institutions, voted 219 to 69 against 
universal military training. The voting 
came after a spirited debate during 
which Dr. Harold W. Dodds, President 
of Princeton, and a former member of 
President Truman's Advisory Commis- 
sion on UMT, pleaded for support of 
peacetime military training on the 
grounds of absolute necessity. "There 
is no question in my mind," said Dr. 
Dodds, "that America must engage for 
a time in power politics. In my opinion, 
the real issue turns on how we are to 
use our power, not on whether or not 
we should exert power." 

The educators however were in no 
mood to trust even America with such 
unprecedented power. They agreed with 
Dr. Alexander Guerry, President of the 
University of the South (Sewanee), 
that under UMT the Federal Govern- 
ment and the military would so ex- 
tend their control over the lives of the 
people as ultimately to take away all 
freedom. "Little by little they will de- 
stroy our initiative, our independence, 
our differences and diversities, which 
are, with unity, the source of our 
strength and greatness, and lead us 
into more and more regimentation." 
UMT at this time, argued Dr. Guerry, 

would amount almost to an open de- 
claration on our part of the inevitabil- 
ity of war. 

The Association did not oppose mili- 
tary preparedness. On the contrary it 
demanded an adequate and a thor- 
oughly equipped Army, Navy, and Air 
Force. And in rejecting UMT the Asso-: 
ciation meant peacetime conscription. 

"At this time," incidentally, was the< 
phrase used by the Executive Com-' 
mittee of the Federal Council when it 
voted 28 to 14 against UMT. But the 1 
action does commit the leadership ir. 
American higher education to opposi- 1 
tion to any ethic or practice of peace- ; 
time militarism. To quote Dr. Guerry. 
again, the arguments that military ^ 
training makes for better citizens are- 
"so wrong and misleading that they 
are proof in part of our impending' 
misfortune if this nation adopts a pro- 
gram of compulsory military service.": 

On this issue the leaders of education 
and church have joined hands. Not 
one of the 25 leading denominations ; 
of the Federal Council has approved : : 
peacetime conscription, and 12 have 
officially rejected it at their last con- 
ventions. The stand of the nuclear : 
physicists is now known to all. The:: 
lines are being drawn. With the "red" : 
scare being whipped up into a phobia, 
with the Army admitting that some 
of its funds have been diverted for 1 : 
UMT propaganda, with the obvious 
and growing alliance of concentrated 
wealth, Government, and the military, 
we begin to see things squaring off. 
More clearly each day we are learning 
who's who in the UMT issue in Amer- 
ica. This is congressional election year. 
The American people have got to make 
up their minds on militarism. The 
controversial issue will soon be on the 
floor of Congress. The people must act, 
and the time is short. 


Protestants in general fear that the 
Roman Catholic Church in America is 
enjoying unprecedented growth. The 



vay the Catholic Church "makes news" 
n the military, press, radio, and movies, 
he success it enjoys in securing the 
status of a privileged group with re- 
gard to Federal funds and recognition, 
md the influence it exerts upon our 
lational policies all intensify this fear. 
Statements as to the actual strength 
Df this church are conflicting, some 
ittributing astronomical growth and 
some underestimating its amazing vi- 
;ality. The 125th annual directory 
)ffers these data for 1947: Today there 
we 25,268,173 Catholics in America, 
yhich represents an increase of 866,049 
jver the preceding year. There are 100 
American dioceses with a hierarchy of 
I Cardinals, 20 archbishops, and 138 
jishops. The clergy includes 40,470 
ariests, 6,938 brothers in various orders 
ind 140,563 nuns. There were 100,628 
idult baptisms last year. (Where these 
converts came from is a matter of in- 
teresting speculation.) The Roman 
Catholic educational institutions in- 
cludes : 415 seminaries with 23,135 stu- 
ients; 216 colleges and universities with 
175,120 students; 20,431 high schools 
ivith 502,967 students; and 8,167 ele- 
mentary schools with 2,185,565 students. 
Four American cities report a Cath- 
Dlic population in excess of one million: 
Brooklyn 1,111,446 

Chicago 1,716,536 

Boston 1,208,089 

New York 1,169,376 

To read these figures is to under- 
stand the unceasing pressure cam- 
paigns this Church makes for public 
funds to support her institutions. Naive 
indeed is he who sees no further than 
the apparently harmless requests for 
textbooks and bus transportation at 
government expense. To read these 
figures is to understand why Myron 
Taylor remains at the Vatican in spite 
of Baptist President Truman's repeat- 
ed reassurances. To read these figures 
is to understand the grappling hooks 
of censorship and boycott which this 
Church has on movies, radios, the 
press, and the military. Such groups, 
incidentally, are made-to-order for ex- 
ploitation by a uniform and highly 

organized group — which has a soul. 
These figures represent unity, vitality, 
and power, and they speak a language 
every politician understands. They go 
a long way toward answering the ques- 
tion "Can Catholicism win America?" 


We agree with the Christian Century 

that this new body should not submit 
to the "alphabetizing fad," but should 
continue to call itself Protestants and 
Other Americans United for Separation 
of Church and State until some shorter 
name is found. Here is the most whole- 
some and potentially the most effective 
response to date to the growing threat 
of Catholic political influence to the 
traditional religious liberties of our 
land. The organization has issued a 
magnificient Manifesto which merits 
a careful study. No one can accuse 
such nationally respected persons as 
Dr. John A. Mackay, Bishop G. Bomley 
Oxnam, and Dr. Charles Clayton Mor- 
rison of biogtry and Ku Klux Klanism, 
though "wolves in sheep's clothing" is 
the intemperate phrase employed by 
the Knights of Columbus to char- 
acterize these signers. Southern Bap- 
tists take pride to count among the 
signers Dr. Louie D. Newton, Dr. J. M. 
Dawson, and Dr. E. McNeill Poteat, 
formerly Pastor of the Pullen Memorial 
Church, Raleigh, and chairman of the 
committee. This body, representative of 
American protestantism, is not being 
organized any too soon. There are some 
things, brethren, too big to handle by 


Another American church merger is 
on the horizon. The Northern Baptist 
Convention, meeting last May in Atlan- 
tic City, raised its Committee on Re- 
lations with the Disciples of Christ to 
the status of Convention Commission 
of Fifteen. The purpose of this com- 
mission is specific: "To explore and 
examine the contents of faith and pol- 
ity of Baptists and Disciples in order 


Christian Frontiers 

to discuss the possibilities of union." 
Eighteen years ago the merger was 
also almost approved when the North- 
ern Baptists met in Cleveland, and only 
the determined and impassioned plea 
of one speaker for the minority report 
prevented approval. Today the union — 
or more correctly the reunion, since 
the two groups split in 1827 — seems 

Writing in the January issue of 
Missions, Dr. Hillyer H. Stratton calls 
attention to the common heritage of 
the two communions. Historically the 
Baptists and Disciples have enjoyed an 
uninterrupted common heritage of 
four cardinal principles: 

1. Authority of the Bible. "The Bible 
for us is not a book of magic. It is the 
eternal word of God. We can even say 
it is infallible; not necessarily infall- 
ible science, or infallible biology, but 
it is an infallible guide to God. Wheth- 
er we are liberals or conservatives, 
that is the only infallibility that ulti- 
mately matters. From the beginning, 
we Baptists have made the Bible 
authoritative in matters of faith and 
practice . . . The Disciples have prob- 
ably laid more emphasis upon the 
letter of the New Testament than have 
the Baptists . . . This common heritage 
of loyalty to the revealed will of God 
in the Bible ought to enhance our 
sense of oneness, for we stand with 
unity here." 

2. Believers' baptism. Here Dr. Strat- 
ton points out that while both branches 
of the Christian faith practice immer- 
sion, accepting the symbolism of death, 
burial, and resurrection, the important 
thing to remember is the insistence 
of each not upon the mode but upon 
the candidate. That is, both Baptists 
and Disciples have historically repud- 
iated infant baptism. "It comes as a 
surprise to many Baptists and Dis- 
ciples to learn that early English Bap- 
tists sprinkled. From 1607 to 1640, our 
English forebears knew no other mode 
than the common mode of sprinkling. 
Their contention was for baptism upon 
a confession of faith ... It was not 
until certain Baptists later realized 

that the word baptizo from the Greet 
Testament meant immerse that thei! 
began the practice of immersion whicr 
all Baptists and Disciples have follow- 
ed since . . . We stand with unitj 
here in contending for believers' bap- 

3. Priesthood of believers. Dr. Strat- 
ton refers to this cardinal principle a; 
"democracy in religion ... a hoi; 
heritage which insists that every inj 
dividual has the right of approaching 
God himself." The spirit of this doc- 
trine has breathed into these tws 
bodies a tradtional independence and! 
the confidence that people, given the 
facts, will vote wisely in the matters 
of the church. "We stand with unitj 
for democracy in religion." 

4. Religious liberty with its strong 
emphasis upon separation of Churcr. 
and State. In commenting on thiji 
doctrine, Dr. Stratton limits his dis- 
cussion to the recent decision of the 
Supreme Court upholding the spending 
of public funds to transport Catholics 
to parochial schools. He ends: "We 
stand with unity for religious liberty 
May God help us to know we are one.' 

Dr. Stratton suggests that Baptists 
and Disciples alike stress the guidance 
of the Holy Spirit as one of the prime 
factors in loyalty to the faith. From 
a narrow Calvinism Baptists advanced 
to the support of Adoniram Judson 
and the modern missionary movement 1 
From defending an untrained ministry 
they have advanced to the recognition 
for the need of the best in education 
for ministers. And from a pietistic 
position they have produced a Waltei 
Rauschenbush with his broad social 
vision. Disciples too have been led by 
the Holy Spirit along similar paths. 

While we shall forbear to pass judg- 
ment on the wisdom of merger, we, 
can say that in these great historic 
doctrines neither of the two com- 
munions is far from the kingdom 
of Southern Baptists. 


The United States Supreme Court 
has begun hearings on what has been 



called a "new Dred Scott case." Not in 
our generation has the Court been ask- 
ed to hand down so momentous a 
ruling, due about two months from 
this writing, as on the constitutionality 
of restrictive covenants. Here the life 
blood of democracy is at stake, blood 
which the leukemia of zones and 
ghettos has already dangerously weak- 
ened. Restrictive covenants are the 
legal devices whereby real estate in- 
terests have forbidden property owners 
in certain areas — of course, with the 
latters' connivance — from renting or 
selling their property to members of 
specified races. Though Negroes have 
been the chief victims in both the 
North and the South and elsewhere 
in the United States, the covenants 
are drawn up also to exclude Jews, 
Greeks, Latin-Americans, Armenians, 
Japanese, Chinese, Filipinos, Indians, 
etc., from living in "Caucasian" zones. 
Thus wherein God apparently set no 
bounds, the law of the land has in 
part succeeded in setting the bounds 
of their habitation. 

It is by no means certain that the 
Court will hand down a decision on 
this crucial case, since three of the 
justices have disqualified themselves, 
Justices Reed, Rutledge, and Jackson, 
leaving a bare quorum of six. Many 
informed observers believe that the 
Court will be deadlocked into a three- 
to-three tie. This means that the de- 
cision of the lower courts, which has 
hitherto upheld the legality of restric- 
tive covenants, will prevail. This pos- 
sibility is rendered more likely when 
one studies the temperament and re- 

cords of the six judges. Clearly we have 
a right to expect broadly based justice 
from the nation's highest tribunal. If 
this supreme guardian of the constitu- 
tion fails to act realistically and coura- 
geously on a case so vital to the con- 
stitution we might as well chuck the 
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. 
Either there is constitutional protection 
against racial and religious discrim- 
ination or there is none. Here is an 
opportunity to erase the ugliest blot on 
our national escutcheon. 

The United States and the Union 
of South Africa are the world's chief 
offenders in race discrimination. Yet 
ironically they are among the strongest 
Protestant areas in the world. De- 
fenders of the restrictive covenants are 
probably correct in their warning that 
a decision against the legality of the 
covenants might dynamite the nation's 
property structures. Undoubtedly such 
a decision will kill the sacred cow of 
discrimination and rock the founda- 
tions of American ghettos. But when 
we think of the little Harlems scatter- 
ed all over our nation, people living as 
they do in Chicago's South Side, 75,000 
to the square mile, with disease, de- 
linquency, and bitterness mounting 
higher and higher, maybe the kind of 
dynamite they predict is preferable to 
the disasters injustice and oppression 
always breed. It may be we shall have 
to stand up, like God's ancient Pro- 
phets, to see that these structures are 
torn down and uprooted in order that 
they may be built aright. The restric- 
tive covenants must go. 

Do They "Know" The Bible 

by Almonte C. Howell 

RECENTLY I was listening to a 
radio address by a "Bible" insti- 
tute, or study, or fellowship speaker — 
one of the sort commonly heard every 
Sunday. Occasionally I sample them to 
see how well they use the good book. 

Certainly one must give them credit 
for a remarkable command of texts (in 
the Authorized Version), and an un- 
canny ability to use them for their 
peculiar appeals — proof-texts, I believe 
such quotations are called in homil- 


Christian Frontiers 

etics. Equally obvious, from what one 
hears over the radio, is their profound 
ignorance of the meaning, implications, 
and historical setting of the words they 
glibly quote. 

They illustrate almost perfectly the 
maxim that a little knowledge is a 
dangerous thing. They know the Bible 
superficially; yet they do not know it 
at all. They lift verses completely out 
of their contexts and violently yoke 
together statements uttered in differ- 
ent situations for different purposes, 
and with entirely dissimilar implica- 
tions. Paul's early eschatological views 
about the imminent approach of the 
Day and the Second Coming in Phil- 
lipians, for instance, a view which fades 
into the background of his later letters, 
such as Colossians, are their theme 
songs. To them being "saved" in the 
Pauline sense of the term is the im- 
portant aspect of the good book, and its 
everlasting message. To them the figure 
of Jesus is merely a Lamb slain for 
the sins of all us Adams. They "preach 
Christ crucified." It would be an in- 
teresting but vain experience to get 
them to read Toynbee's chapter on the 
dying god in his "Study of History." 

These remarks are the prelude to one 
or two observations which, as a teacher 
of the Bible, I think I have a right to 
make in the hope that some readers 
may be led to examine anew the basis 
of their Bible study and use the good 
book with the respect due any other 
classic of age, authority, and wisdom. 
That is, to use the Bible intelligently 
in the light of all the facts available 
about the meaning of a particular 
quotation and in its context. And 
finally, to remember that Christ, not 
Paul, is the supreme head of our 

To come back to my radio speaker. 
I did not take the trouble to count the 
total number of his quotations, most 
of them complete with book, chapter, 
and verse (though the verse was usual- 
ly conveniently cut to fit his purpose, 
almost never a complete sentence); 
but I am sure that at least twenty-five 
or thirty were rattled off in a ten- 

minute talk. I did, however, discover 
that every one of them was either 
Pauline or from a New Testament 
book composed after the Pauline corpus 
was in circulation. That is to say, the 
religion which was being so ardently 
asseverated over the radio was Pauline 
Christianity — not the teachings of 
Jesus. No word of any of the verses 
suggested the great messages of Mark, 
Matthew, and Luke. No statement 
about the fatherhood of God and the 
brotherhood of man, no suggestion! 
about the Kingdom which is within 
one, or the dangers of riches, or the 
duties and obligations of the citizens 
of the Kingdom of God. 

I submit that such a one-sided pre-i- 
sentation of Christianity as is repre- 
sented by the "Brother, are you saved?" 
type of Bible use is unfair to the good 
book and unrepresentative of Christ's 
message. Granted that Paul knew 
Christ— that he did is obvious to him 
who reads and has been fully treated 
in such a work as Prank Chamberlain 
Porter's "The Mind of Christ in Paul"; 
yet the Bible student would do well to 
remember that each early Christian 
teacher delivered Christ's message to 
fit his own hearers and his own times. 
Paul apparently had no written gospel 
to guide him and used the oral gospel 
sparingly. With his strong convictions 
about the Greek mission, he was con- 
cerned primarily with combating the 
tendency of Christianity to degenerate 
into a sect of Judaism; therefore he 
developed a theology which Christian- 
ity lacked and for which the words' 
of Christ gave him a very small back- 
ground. Moreover, he was, as a rule, 
writing occasional letters to specific 
churches to correct specific abuses 
which had arisen. To take his words out 
of these situations and use them 
"atomistically," as Goodspeed notes, is 
to misuse them and often to make a 
general rule out of a specific admoni- 

For after all, the doctrine of salva- 
tion is not the whole of Pauline doc- 
trine, nor is Pauline doctrine the whole 
of Christ's teaching; and all the syste- 

Do They "Know" the B'ible? 


matic theology which the Church has 
developed from his occasional utter- 
ances reinforced with the elaborate 
Platonic symbolism of Hebrews, is not 
worth an atom before the truths which 
Jesus, our true leader, uttered in those 
sublime stories of the Sower, the Prod- 
igal Son, and the Good Samaritan. 
I wish that half the time spent by 

these so-called Bible students in 
searching for "saving" texts in Paul's 
letters or interpreting the esoteric 
utterances of the Apocalypse, could be 
spent in presenting the true message 
of Jesus the Master to a world of men 
who, as in the time of Paul, are still 
like sheep without a shepherd. 

A Layman Speaks to Young Preachers 

by Josephus Daniels 

IN a life spared beyond the scriptural 
threescore and ten I have been 
privileged at Monticello to read the 
I Declaration of Independence from the 
porch of the shrine of my political 
mentor; to stand in City Roads Chapel 
in London in the pulpit of my religious 
' patron saint; to serve as delegate to 
1 the General Conferences of our church 
; and have part in the election of great 
: souls to the office of bishop; to sit in 
1 council with America's chief official 
apostles of peace in two wars. All these 
■ honors were beyond my deserving. But 
j I speak sincerely when I say to you 
' that no honor has come to me, un- 
worthy as I am, that so humbles me 
j as to be asked to give counsel to the 
' young ministers called of God to min- 
ister at holy altars. I protested my 
inadequacy when Bishop Peele gave 
me this appointment. Two things, how- 
| ever, compelled acceptance of the ap- 

1. One was that if my sainted Meth- 
odist mother were alive she would say 
to me, as I have heard her say to not 
a few young preachers: "God guides 
the Bishop in sending men where He 
needs them and where He will crown 
their work with His favor." 

2. My mother's chief disappointment 
in life was that her one unanswered 
prayer was that one of her sons was 
not called of God to preach the gospel. 
She would have felt more highly 
honored by such service than if either 

had inspired listening senates or been 
elevated to the chief magistracy of the 
republic. And I shared and share the 
belief that you young Wesleyans are 
coming into the most exalted station 
among men at a time that will chal- 
lenge all that is best within you. I can 
truly say that if the voice of God had 
called me to the ministry in my young 
manhood, as my mother hoped, I would 
then ' have gladly said "Here am I. 
Send me." 

Not called to the ministry, I have 
sat at the feet of a beloved pastor, 
Bishop Peele, and other Christian lead- 
ers in the holy office which you are 
entering this day. I cherish the hope 
that I have been directed in some 
measure to advance righteous causes 
with the pen. 

It may be more than a coincidence 
that today you take the vows in a 
section early blessed by the ministry 
of Asbury. That Prophet of the Long 
Road preached in Elizabeth City in 
1804 and spread the gospel in North 
Carolina as an itinerant to listening 
pioneers along the Pasquotank River; 
in the State Capitol building at Ra- 
leigh; presided over the first Methodist 
Conference in this State on April 20, 
1785, at the home of Green Hill in 
Franklin County, and left his foot- 
prints on the shores of Lake Junaluska, 
the seat of the Methodist Summer 
Assembly. May I not challenge you to 
follow in the footsteps of Asbury, the 


Christian Frontiers 

first bishop of Methodism in the New 
World? He travelled 270,000 miles on 
horseback and preached 16,275 sermons 
and left an impress upon our church 
and commonwealth that has been the 
human rock upon which Methodism 
has builded a great evangelistic church. 
And in this city, where people heard 
him gladly and where the seed he 
planted is still bearing fruit after its 
kind, your church today will give you 
its imprimatur and your brethren will 
pray that a double portion of the spirit 
of the Christ and of the founders of 
our church may fall upon you in the 
hour of your consecration. 

If I am in the least worthy to 
counsel with you in this your day of 
high adventure, I would express the 
earnest hope that you will be saved 
from clerical professionalism, which 
tends to dependence on ritualism, 
forms of worship and dress, and the 
belief that the gospel is to be pro- 
claimed only in consecrated sanctu- 

The early Methodist had a choice 
to make when the Wesley direction 
"The world is my parish" became their 
marching orders and brought them 
early to the New World. That choice 
was whether to blaze new trails in a 
New World or to hold fast to the pat- 
terns and rituals of the English estab- 
lished church in which Wesley was 
reared, but which disowned him when 
he felt the compulsion to carry the 
gospel to forgotten peoples toiling in 
the fields, or mining coal in the bowels 
of the earth at Newcastle, and to 
dwellers in the slums of cities where 
the voice of the preacher was seldom 
heard and social welfare had not come 
to mitigate human miseries. 

I beg of you to follow the long road 
blazed by the early Methodists of 
American — Asbury, Strawbridge and 
like men — who gathered at the cele- 
brated Christmas Conference in Balti- 
more to make the Methodist Episcopal 
Church the first independent national 
ecclesiastical organization in America. 
Wesley's political pamphlets upholding 
George Ill's policy toward the colon- 

ists put Methodists in America under 
suspicion as Tories, and but for the 
downright patriotism of Rev. Robert 
Strawbridge— "eloquent, fiery, and flu- 
ent preacher" and other like native 
young American preachers, that one 
error of Wesley might have militated 
against the acceptance of Methodism 
when the colonies became a free re- 
public. The native American preachers 
declared that American Methodists had 
no traditional attachment to the Ang- 
lican church and did not hold to de- 
ferential sympathy or accept the doc- 
trine of apostolic succession as held 
by the English church. Convinced that 
they knew the only American way 
better than any one outside the new 
republic, Wesley later followed their 
lead, and the ties that had bound them 
to the established church were cut; 
and, free and independent, the Metho- 
dist church grew to lead all creeds fir 
membership in the New World. Is 
there not a lesson in this history as a 
perfect answer and protest against the 
present day propaganda for a union of 
all Protestants in one organized body 
and the suggestion that all the nations 
of the earth be governed by a parlia- 
ment of man in one World? They for- 
get the teachings of history. There are 
more dangers in Bigness in industry 
and the church than any other pit- 
fall—except dangers of war — concen- 
trated in overlarge organizations. Na- 
tions and churches are strong because 
they are "alike in difference." 

All Methodists should bear in mind 
and make it their goal today to meas- 
ure up, at least in spirit, to what 
Greene in his History of the English 
People said of Methodists: 

"The great body which he [Wesley] 
thus founded numbered a hundred 
thousand members at his death and 
now counts its members in England 
and America by millions. But the 
Methodists themselves were the least 
result of the Methodist revival. Its 
action upon the church broke the 
lethargy of the clergy; and the 'Evan- 
gelical' movement, which found repre- 
sentatives like Newton and Cecil with- 

A Layman Speaks 


in the pale of the Establishment, made 
the fox-hunting parson and the ab- 
sentee rector at last impossible." 

Methodism in the New World went 
iwith the pioneers as they felled the 
trees to make dwelling places in the 
wilderness. The circuit riders did not 
wait for the erection of church build- 
ings but preached to the people in the 
open or in their temporary homes as 
they trekked from the seaboard on 
their way to building a democratic 
republic on Christian principles in the 
South and West. Is there not here a 
lesson to the preachers of our day 
when many people who most need the 
healing of the gospel do not enter the 
doors of the church? If the people do 
not go to church, the call is for the 
preacher to carry the message wherever 
they stand in need of its saving grace 
in the crowded streets and in the by- 
ways. That was the call your prede- 
cessors in the gospel heard and ans- 
wered. Perhaps the greatest blunder of 
I Methodism in England after rejecting 
; Wesleyan evangelism, was that it f ail- 
i ed to see the fields white unto the 
; harvest that beckoned a dynamic 
! Methodist, General William Booth, to 
• service among the down and out. That 
j failure made the Salvation Army the 
j great independent agency which chal- 
lenges the church today to a like carry- 
ing of the gospel to the unchurched. 

Perhaps, instead of affirmative coun- 
sel, a layman should suggest from the 
pew a few Don'ts as you enter upon 
your ministry: 

1. Don't be afraid. In spite of the 
physical prosperity of today the world 
is in the throes of fear. This is not 
only true of the frustration about 
world conditions; the church has 
caught the contagion. I bid you cast 
out all fears as you go forth as pastors 
of people needing a courage that will 
inspire faith in today and all the to- 
morrows. Have faith in the future, in 
yourselves, in your fellow men, and 
believe that as long as God reigns in 
his heaven all may be made well with 
the world tomorrow, no matter how 
dark are the clouds today. The truest 

courage displayed and the highest wis- 
dom by any civic leader of our genera- 
tion was by the late President Roose- 
velt in his first inaugural address. He 
was speaking to a generation in the 
grip of the worst depression in their 
history. They had seen their posses- 
sions shrink or be swept away — many 
had been evicted from their homes — 
and millions of willing workers were 
walking the streets vainly seeking jobs. 
Dread of the tomorrow sat on every 
heart. The people were almost hope- 
less and many were hungry. They saw 
no rainbow piercing the clouds. The 
road ahead seemed blocked. Could 
there be balm in Gilead? Out of the 
hopelessness of that never forgettable 
period came the clear calm voice of 
confidence that dissipated the gloom, 
which was so thick you could cut it 
with a knife. That sentence was: "The 
only thing we have to fear is fear it- 
self." That is our challenge in this 
day of drifting. 

2. Don't be afraid to ring out clear 
and true for unpopular causes even if 
it cuts across the views or interests of 
some members of your church. Asked 
the road to political success by an 
ambitious young man, a wise states- 
man said: "Attach yourself to a right- 
eous unpopular cause." The great 
preachers who have lived have never 
asked: "Is it popular?" — but — "Is it 

3. Don't be afraid to tell your board 
of stewards and your congregation 
that you have come to call sinners to 
repentance, to comfort the bereaved, 
to give cheer to the poor, to minister 
to the sick, to touch the lives of those 
needing the help of the gospel and 
not to "serve tables." Suggest the re- 
introduction of the Biblical division of 
duty in the church. Read to the con- 
gregation Acts 6:1 to 6 where the dis- 
ciples declared: "It is not reason that 
we should leave the word of God and 
serve tables," so we "will give our- 
selves continually to prayer and to 
the ministry of the Word." 

The institution of laymen to carry 
on all the work other than set forth 


Christian Frontiers 

in that scripture should be reinstated 
in all churches. Is it not true today 
that many of the laity have become 
AWOL in the call to full service, and 
sometimes preachers have assumed 
powers and duties that should devolve 
upon the pew? Not a few laymen— I 
among the rest— have thought of the 
church as a carryall with the preacher 
harnessed between the shafts, the good 
women pushing and shoving and the 
laymen lying inside on soft cushions, 
being transported to Zion with no ef- 
fort on their part. As long as the 
preachers permit themselves to be so 
harnessed they need not complain of 
the load. They should, with all sweet- 
ness and light, call the laymen to re- 
lieve them of "serving tables." By so 
doing the preacher will be doing a 
needed act. He will be keeping the 
laymen too busy serving the needs of 
the modern church in its multiplied 
activities to fall from grace. He will, 
also, increase democratization and lay 
responsibility in every congregation. 

4. Don't be afraid of innovations or 
the use of modern agencies. The radio 
and the talking pictures are a part of 
life. They have come to stay. Do not 
condemn them. Convert them. Put 
them to spreading the gospel. Moving 
pictures depicting Bible scenes and 
missionary enterprises and Christian 
progress should be utilized in the 
churches and Sunday schools. 

5. Don't preach to empty pews. If 
the people do not come to the church, 
the church must go to the people. It 
must mix with men who sweat and 
hope and suffer, wherever they can be 
found. The command of the Master 
was not "Minister in a consecrated 
church." It was "Go ye into all the 
world and preach the gospel to every 
creature" — this means to you to go to 
those who live on the other side of the 
tracks and carry the cheer of the 

6. Don't fail to bring in your sermon 
a message that will compel the atten- 
tion of your congregation. Dullness is 
the only unforgivable sin in the pulpit. 
I sometimes think that the lay official 

was right who, when asked what 
should be done if the congregation was 
indifferent, listless and sleepy during 
the sermon, said "Go into the pulpit 
and wake up the preacher." Unless the 
preacher can hold the attention of his 
hearers he needs to be aroused him- 

7. Don't be afraid of being called a 
sensationalist, a revivalist or evangel- 
ist. The most sensational utterance of 
all history was "Ye must be born 
again." It was beyond the understand- 
ing of the Sanhedrin and of the lawyer 
who sought an interpretation from 
Jesus. There is danger that some 
preachers will be so afraid of being 
called exhorters or revivalists that 
they fail to arouse the interest or hold 
the attention of their congregation by 
declaring and stressing the plan of 
salvation laid down in the Bible. At 
the General Conference in Dallas a 
fellow delegate asked me for whom I 
planned to vote for the bishopric. I 
gave the name of a prominent evangel- 
istic preacher. The delegate, who had 
questioned me, gave this advice: "Don't 
vote for him. He has no qualifications 
as an administrator — he is only an ' 
evangelist." I replied, "Thank God for 
his evangelism. The church needs 
preachers who will call sinners to re- I 
pentance more than it does adminis- 
trators." The evangelist was elected 
and proved he possesses all the qual- 
ities needed in administration— gifts 
inferior to those required in a winner 
of souls. That bishop — like Bishop 
Peele and other leaders — has not for- 
gotten that God expects to save the 
world by evangelical preaching that 
stirs the hearts of men and women. 

8. Don't be afraid of appealing to the 
emotions. I have never known a man 
to be converted unless his heart was 
touched. If there is one pitfall today 
for young preachers more dangerous 
than any other it is to believe that the 
only way to reach the people is through 
logic and reason. No preacher can 
safely neglect appealing to the intel- 
lect. But we are told in the Scripture, 
"Out of the heart come the issues of 

A Layman Speaks 


life." If you can use only one barrel 
of the two barreled gospel gun — logic 
and emotion — I beseech you as a minis- 
ter of the gospel first to seek entrance 
into the hearts of the people. Men can- 
not be saved by logic though it should 
be employed to strengthen the im- 
pulses of the heart. The early Metho- 
dist preachers were not afraid of 
awakening the deepest wellsprings of 
human beings. The Scripture says: 
"With the heart man believeth unto 
righteousness." If I could give only one 
admonition to the young preacher it 
would be: Seek entrance into the af- 
fection of men and women and chil- 
dren and do not be afraid of calling 
the emotions into play. My good wife 
once said: "I do not wish to hear a 
man preach who does not make me 
wish to cry, at least cry a little." She 
knew emotion was the mainspring that 
touched the whole being and led sea- 

soned reason into saving faith. 

As for these don'ts from the pew by 
one who ventures to give counsel with- 
out feeling a sense of worthiness, I 
pray you will give them only the con- 
sideration they deserve. I am sure the 
Godly admonitions of Bishop Peele, 
based on his experience that has made 
him an elder brother to all in the 
ministry, will be a lamp to your feet, 
while what I have said in comparison 
will be only a flickering torch. But with 
a sense of responsibility I have spoken 
out of my heart what I trust has at 
least the merit of long consideration. 
It is given with sincerity and devotion 
to our church and with the sincere 
prayer that you may be guided and 
strengthened not by the word of man 
but by the spirit of the head of the 
church who has called you to minister 
at its altars. 

Atoms And Men 

by Carl T. Bahner 

"tS everything just atoms?" a thought- 
J_ ful college student asked me a few 
days ago. It is a question lurking in 
the back of many minds. We teachers 
of chemistry would do well to make 
the atomic theory more clear to our 

The theory that all things are made 
of tiny particles is far from new. 
Democritus taught it in the fifth cen- 
tury before 'Christ. The Roman poet 
Lucretius poured all his energy into 
his great poem De Rerum Natura, an 
attempt to persuade men to accept a 
philosophy of life based upon an 
i atomic theory. To Lucretius it appear - 
| ed a true gospel: the good news that 
I man is not immortal and therefore has 
nothing to fear beyond the grave. 

The atomic theory of Democritus and 
Lucretius fell into discard because it 
failed to offer an adequate explanation 
of human nature and a guide for living. 
The poet argued against the existence 

of an immortal soul in man, but if 
nothing is real except the discrete 
atoms of matter, then a man's con- 
sciousness of himself as a single being 
cannot be explained. The eye is com- 
posed of many billions of atoms. How 
then can I be conscious of the multi- 
colored flowers in the vase before me, 
seen in clear stereoscopic outline only 
through the combined functioning of 
both my eyes? The competition from 
rival schools of philosophy and the re- 
ligious systems, especially Christianity, 
which were able to offer more satis- 
factory guidance for life, was too keen 
for the doctrine of Lucretius to meet. 

The modern atomic theory is usually 
dated from 1803, when John Dalton set 
forth his atomic theory. Three out- 
standing points in his theory may be 
stated as follows: 

1. All the atoms of each element are 
exactly alike in mass, size, and prop- 


Christian Frontiers 

2. No atom can be created, destroyed, 
or divided. 

3. The molecules of compounds are 
formed by combination of atoms ac- 
cording to a definite pattern, the atoms 
combining in simple ratios of small 
whole numbers. 

These statements stated the atomic 
theory in a form from which numerous 
practical deductions could be drawn. 
These deductions were subjected to 
confirmation by experiment. The re- 
sults obtained through application of 
these principles have helped bring 
chemistry to the present stage of de- 
velopment. It would be difficult to 
overemphasize the importance of these 
principles and the contribution which 
they have made to our civilization. For 
nearly a hundred years they were sus- 
tained by a tremendous, ever increasing 
mass of evidence. Yet none of them is 
entirely true! The atoms of a given 
element are often of different sizes, 
masses, and properties. The most fam- 
ous example is uranium. Who does not 
know now that one type of uranium 
atom, uranium 235, was separated from 
the other types of uranium atoms by 
means depending upon the fact that it 
did differ in atomic weight from the 
others, and that it was used in an 
atomic bomb because it had the prop- 
erty of splitting in a different fashion 
from the other isotopes of uranium? 
The splitting of the atoms was in di- 
rect contradiction of Dalton's second 
principle. So is the constant radio- 
activity of radium. In fact, if this 
second principle were true there would 

be no electric lights, no electrical mo- 
tors, no radio, because all of these de- 
pend upon the flow of electrons which 
are parts of atoms. Nor is the third 
principle spared, for we have learned 
that in many important organic com- 
pounds the atoms are combined in 
ratios that are far from the simple 
ratios of small numbers. 

Our experience with Dalton's prin- 
ciples should guide us in our attitude 
toward accepted generalizations in the 
sciences of our day. Here were prin- 
ciples supported by an enormous weight 
of evidence which had proved their 
utilitarian value over and over, yet 
these principles denied the possibility 
of nuclear power and electronics. 

Our present atomic theory is like its 
predecessors in not offering a complete 
account of personality and life. Its de- 
scription of the atoms are scientific 
abstractions which explain some phe- 
nomena, but leave out of account the 
most important part of reality. Few 
scientists would claim that the modern 
atomic theory tells the whole truth. 
It does not attempt to tell the whole 
truth. Whole men and a healthy social 
order must be based on a philosophy 
which takes into account the whole 
truth. The spiritual nature of man 
has, thus far, been most successfully 
described in personal terms which 
show little regard for the atomic the- 
ory. Let us integrate the knowledge 
about nature summarized in the atomic 
theory into a larger picture of the 
whole of reality! 

Render Unto Caesar 

R. F. Howes 

THE problem of religion and govern- 
ment is again to the front in the 
United States, where presumably it was 
settled by the adoption of the principle 
of separation of Church and State. The 
tragedy of two World Wars with at- 
tending social and economic disloca- 

tions and the rise of the Social Gospel 
projecting religious interest into areas 
hitherto reserved to law, call for re- 
consideration of the legitimate activ- 
ities of State and Church. 

Historically the problem arose with 
the advent of Christianity. For Greek 

Render Unto Caesar 


and Roman, religion was at once polit- 
ical and social; politics social and re- 
ligious; and social life religious and 
political. But Christianity changed all 
this. Here was a religion of revelation 
and otherworldiness, separating man's 
allegiance into the spheres, duty to 
God and duty to the State. In case of 
conflict but one choice remained to 
the Christian. The Christian, repudiat- 
ing the hitherto unitary conception of 
duty, substituted a dual conception, 
with duty to God the primary duty. 
This allegiance justified neglect or op- 
position to the obligations of citizen- 
ship. For this reason, the Roman State 
persecuted Christians. 

The triumph of the Church under 
Constantine laid the foundation for 
church-control of the political life of 
the Empire. Many activities formerly 
within the State's jurisdiction were 
assumed by the Church, such as care 
of the poor and sick, education, and a 
large civil and criminal jurisdiction 
wherein the Church possessed its own 
legal system, law courts, officials and 
jails, and source of revenue. In brief, 
the Church assumed the organization 
of a State and performed many of the 
functions of one. 

These pretensions did not pass un- 
challenged. Some saw in the Church's 
extravagant claims the fertile cause of 
medieval disorder, that is, the constant 
struggle between State and Church. 
A generally triumphant Church, partly 
because it exercised political power, be- 
came generally corrupt. It was left to 
the Protestant reformers to grapple 
further with the problem. 

The conception of the Reformation 
as exclusively religious is no longer 
tenable. Luther soon found himself 
embarrassed by the social demands of 
the peasants, by the political aspira- 
tions of the princes, by the commercial 
ambitions of the towns. Essentially a 
conservative, he was greatly shocked 
by the Peasant Wars and allied him- 
self with the secular rulers against 
what he called the murderous and 
thieving rabble, calling upon the 
princes to cut them down with the 

sword. Thus he threw himself into 
the arms of the secular power, a State 
Church was established in which lay 
officials took the place of the bishops, 
and a consistory set up with power to 
appoint and remove pastors. The re- 
ligious life of the nation was secular- 
ized, the ultimate emphasis transferred 
from the spiritual to the temporal in- 
terests of the State. 

A different conviction prevailed at 
Geneva under John Calvin. To remedy 
the immortality of the city, reputed 
the worst on the continent of Europe, 
a catechism was drawn up whieh the 
city officials endorsed; whereupon the 
citizens were brought in and compelled 
to swear to support it. An association 
of laymen and ministers was organized 
with control over the citizens through 
physical sanctions enforced by the 
civil arm of the State. No distinction 
was made between civil and moral 
offenses — everything was judged from 
the viewpoint of religion. Novel read- 
ing was banned, women were whipped 
for singing ordinary love songs, and in 
1556 a young girl was beheaded for 
striking her mother in a moment of 
anger. All life was subjected to re- 
ligious control in which morals and 
politics were fused into one — and that 
one was the Church. It was a Church 
State instead of a State Church. 

It appears that the roots of the con- 
flict lie in the assumption of two 
sovereignties, spiritual and temporal, 
one insisting upon complete allegiance 
to God and his moral law, the other 
upon complete obedience to the State 
and its civil regulations. Were religion 
a matter of belief alone, a separation 
might be readily effected, but when it 
is viewed as social obligation as well, 
it becomes difficult for the religious 
man to consent that he will always be 
guided by the dictates of the political 
State. Religion may withdraw from so- 
cial and economic affairs — as it has 
largely done in America — but to one 
who takes seriously "love thy neighbor 
as thyself" such withdrawal becomes 
well-nigh impossible. Some adjustment 
must be made. Today as the State ex- 


Christian Frontiers 

pands into new fields of social activity 
at a time when religion begins to con- 
cern itself with these same activities, 
the old question arises. 

Efforts toward separation may rest 
upon one of several principles: (1) 
toleration, by which the Government 
grants certain rights or privileges to 
religion; (2) repudiation, in which the 
Government repudiates all religion, 
and perhaps seeks to extirpate the re- 
ligious principle (as originally in Sov- 
iet Russian); (3) recognition of spheres 
of activity, defined in the fundamental 
law of the land, as in the United 
States in both State and National Con- 

Of tolerance little need be said, since 
what the Government grants it may 
modify or withdraw as the exigencies 
of political life require. Toleration, 
therefore, is no solution to the problem. 
Soviet repudiation of religion is his- 
torically understandable. In 1721 Peter 
the Great abolished the Patriarchate 
and substituted the Holy Synod, pre- 
sided over by a lay Procurator. Grad- 
ually the Church was secularized, its 
spiritual mission destroyed, and though 
its gorgeous ceremony persisted, by the 
time of the Communist Revolution it 
was impossible to distinguish the ty- 
ranny of the Church from that of the 
State. For two hundred years the 
Church spoke no word against social, 
political and economic oppression. A 
revolution therefore, dedicated to so- 
cial and economic reform, could ex- 
pect no assistance from such an in- 
stitution; the reformers would seek to 
discredit it in every way, and even to 
extirpate the sentiments upon which 
it was founded. 

By decree of January 23, 1918, the 
Church and State were separated and 
the State repudiated the Church and 
seized or "nationalized" its property, 
and congregations wishing to use 
Church property for religious purposes 
were required to contract with the 
Government for the use of the same. 
The Constitution of that year guaran- 
teed both religious and anti-religious 
propaganda. Following a decree of 

1929, the new Constitution of 1936 per- 
mitted the Church only religious wor- 
ship, but allowed to others anti-re- 
ligious propaganda as well. 

"In order to insure to citizens free- 
dom of conscience, the Church in the 
U.S.S.R. is separated from the State, 
and the school from the church. Free- 
dom of religious worship and freedom 
of anti-religious propaganda is recog- 
nized for all citizens." 

With the approach of World War II, 
Soviet policy apparently changed. 

"We do not persecute religion by any 
means [the Government announced]. 
We demand from church parishioners 
that they refrain from interfering in 
politics. The old clergy, bound to the 
old regime, would not abandon its 
struggle against the Soviet power and 
it was necessary for us to resort to! 
repressions. But now they have ap- 1 
parently turned their faces in our di- 
rection — and the church is free." 

After the outbreak of war with Ger- 
many, Church and State drew rapidly 
together, culminating in Stalin's re- 
ception of Metropolitan Sergius, and 
the announcement of his election as 
Patriarch of the Orthodox Church. 
The Church is free so far as religious 
worship is concerned, but the State 
retains exclusive control of all activ- 
ities which concern its temporal wel- 
fare. Soviet repudiation, therefore, has 
been modified into recognition of 
spheres of activity. 

This recognition of spheres of activ- 
ity is the accepted principle in Amer- 
ica. In early times religious establish- 
ments prevailed in all the Colonies 
except Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. 
From the theocratic State of Massa- 
chusetts, Roger Williams fled to the 
"more merciful Indians," to establish 
the Colony of Rhode Island where for 
the first time in history complete re- 
ligious liberty prevailed. Here the 
State's power extended only to the 
bodies and goods and outward state of 
men — not to their souls or consciences. 
In other words the State's jurisdiction 
extends only to men's conduct while 
religion rules in their hearts and souls. 

Render Unto Caesar 


But accurately to define jurisdictions 
is not so easy. The Constitution con- 
tains only the general prohibition that 
Congress shall pass no law regarding 
an establishment of religion, or pro- 
hibit the free exercise thereof. Similar 
prohibitions exist in most or all of the 
State Constitutions. 

In actual practice these prohibitions 
do not prohibit. Church property is 
exempted from taxation; thus the 
State renders assistance to religious 
organizations. Bible reading is permit- 
ted in the schools. Plural marriage, 
though received through divine revela- 
tion, is declared criminal. Transporta- 
tion of children to parochial schools 
at State expense may be required. 
Physicians must be called in regardless 
of religious scruples. School plants may 
be used for religious instruction during 
school hours. Children have been com- 
pelled to salute the national flag with- 
out regard to religious conviction. 
State universities require enrolment in 
military courses in spite of conscien- 
tious objections. Pacificists have been 
denied naturalization, and admission 
to the bar, on refusal to bear arms. 
These are but a few of the cases where 
religion and government come into 
conflict when religiously motivated con- 
duct is challenged as hostile to social 
and political welfare. 

When this occurs the State generally 
emerges triumphant. Law, by its de- 
finition, is a rule for external human 
conduct, and what the law shall be is 
emphatically within the power of the 
State to declare. Its sovereign power 
embraces every rule deemed necessary 
for the health, safety, morals and wel- 
fare of the State. There is no superior 
authority to hold it in check. Its bounds 
are self-restraint and common judg- 
ment as to what constitute health, 
safety, morals and welfare, which is 
necessarily determined in a democracy 
by the knowledge and culture of the 
people as a whole. Where polygamy is 
deemed inimical to social welfare, it 

requires more than "divine" revelation 
to render it innocuous. Under our pre- 
sent knowledge of disease, "error of 
mortal mind" presents no excuse for 
failure to call the physician. Power 
politics justifies universal military ser- 
vice even against religious conviction; 
and collective bargaining may be held 
to constitute a threat to free American 
enterprise. What matters is, that the 
State be preserved at any cost, and 
there is no way out but through the 
slow process of social change. 

Neither a State-dominated Church 
nor a Church-dominated State has any 
place in a democracy. One enables the 
State to enlist God and the Church 
in behalf of reactionary policies and 
destroys the spiritual mission of 
Church. But a Church-dominated 
State is no less tyrannical and in- 
human, since the evil men do under 
the sanction of religion is frequently 
the more deadly, when divine command 
is taken to justify the wrong they do 
through ignorance and mistaken pol- 
icies. Not until men recognize that be- 
lief is not religion, and that men of 
diverse beliefs, or of no belief, can be 
equally good citizens can the Church 
be entrusted with the sovereign powers 
of legislation. 

The religious man is not helpless in 
face of the world's misery. The good 
man, entering the polling booth, does 
not leave his religion behind him. The 
world of conduct lies about him, and 
with that he is profoundly concerned. 
That something shall be done, religion 
commands; what shall be done only 
knowledge can determine. Here is a 
common field where religion and 
politics may work together. Let the 
Church magnify its opportunity in 
creation of desires and resolves which 
inspire intelligent conduct, granting to 
the State the means and methods of 
their consummation, and the conflict of 
Church and State will be finally settled. 
There is no other way. 

Book Review 

God Confronts Man in History by 

Henry Sloane Coffin, Scribner's, New 
York, 1947, 154 pp. Index. $2.50. 

In the early post-war period Dr. 
Coffin was invited to give a series of 
lectures in the Par and Middle East 
under the Joseph Cook Foundation. 
His formal mission was to deliver lec- 
tures in defense of the Christian faith, 
but he met with many groups under 
other circumstances in the Philippines, 
China, Siam, India, and Egypt. "Once, 
in China, he flew over hostile lines to 
lecture in a city completely surrounded 
by Communists." General Marshall pre- 
sided over one lecture that he gave at 
the University of Nanking to 1400 
students and, as Dr. Coffin puts it, "The 
General in introducing me gave a sim- 
ple and telling testimony to his belief 
in the supreme importance of Christian 
loyalty." This volume contains an ac- 
count of the author's experiences and 
the texts of the lectures. 

The first chapter is an interesting 
resume of Dr. Coffin's trip, with pun- 
gent comments on various aspects of 
the world scene. He is severely critical 
of the United States for our insistence 
that American citizens be given an 
equal opportunity with Filipinos in the 
"exploitation" of Philippine resources. 
He is embarrassed by the hypocrisy of 
the United States in insisting that 
Jews be admitted to Palestine, while 
unwilling to admit a comparatively few 
displaced persons to this country. He 
says that "western democracies must 
demonstrate that their economic and 
political systems furnish an ample life 
to all their people, especially the poor- 
est, or communism will sweep the 
Orient." In commenting on race ten- 
sion in various areas, he says, "But 
the Christian Gospel proclaims itself 
supraracial, and when the church in 
practice permits . . . discriminations 
and fails boldly to combat them, her 
message is scorned as a shame and 
despised as impotent." 

The subjects of the lectures are, 
"God in History," "God's Self-Revela- 
tion," "God's Redemptive Work: Indiv- 
idual and Social," "The Church: the 
Redeemed and the Redeeming Com- 
munity," and finally, "The Goal of 
History: The Kingdom of God." These 
lectures set forth in simple and per- 
suasive terms the position, claims, 
aspirations and goal of the Christian 
religion. The reader will keep constant- 
ly in mind that Dr. Coffin's audiences 
were composed primarily of Orientals 
who were frequently acquainted at first 
hand with the teacings and practices 
of other religions. His purpose is a win- 
some exposition of Christianity. He 
writes with clarity and simplicity. The 
following quotation from the lecture 
on "God's Self-Revelation" will serve 
as an example: "Christians have found 
God's Self -revelation complete in Jesus. 
But this does not mean that God has 
ceased working and speaking in the 
subsequent centuries. The first Christ- 
ians discovered God, whom they had 
known in Jesus, to be the indwelling 
life, guide and power of the Church. 
For this presently speaking and em- 
powering God, they used the name 'the 
Holy Spirit.' He is the source of the 
gifts with which the Church is equip- 
ped for her life and work. He is the 
Renewer and Sanctifier of Christian 
minds and hearts. He produces the 
graces of Christian character and binds 
followers of Jesus in a communion of 
worship and service. The Church is 
the fellowship of the Holy Spirit." 

Dr. Coffin speaks from the fullness 
of his experience, with confidence in 
the sufficiency of the Gospel and a 
sense of urgency in the need for apply- 
ing it. His attitude has the poise and 
mellowness of one who has made a long 
journey, not only in a physical but in 
a spiritual sense. 

— Cecil Johnson, 
University of North Carolina 


Book Reviews 


Alternative to Futility by D. Elton 
Trueblood. New York: Harper and 
Brothers, 1948. 124 pp. $1.00. 

Two tasks must be done if the 
Christian Church is to fill its mission 
in our time. One is to deepen and 
strengthen the fellowship among 
Christian people; the other is strategic- 
ally to implement in society the pur- 
poses and mission of the church. 

It is instructive to see men of diverse 
backgrounds wrestle with these two 
tasks. Dr. Trueblood, Professor of Phil- 
osophy at Earlham College, who has 
devoted several years to a diagnosis of 
the evils in our society (see The Pre- 
dicament of Modern Man and Founda- 
tions For Reconstruction), now seeks 
to go beyond diagnosis to prescribe a 

What he proposes is strong medicine 
which he confidently supposes that 
modern man is ready to swallow with- 
out squirming. "Modern man," he says, 
"now come to a full consciousness of 
his spiritual sickness, is ready for the 
first time to accept a thoroughgoing 
remedy. . . . We have discarded the 
blasphemy of optimism; we are wholly 
humble about our condition." 

I marked these lines in his second 
paragraph and stopped to ask, "Who is 
we?" This is a gracious assumption to 
make concerning the average among 
us. We are like children who, when 
sick, know that something is wrong 
somewhere, but do not see any con- 
nection between our condition and the 
prick of a needle or the taste of med- 
icine. However, for those who wish to 
grow up quickly and grasp the implica- 
tions of our spiritual illness, this is the 
book to read and digest. 

Dr. Trueblood, with a knowing eye on 
the thermometer, says the basic defect 
of our churches "lies not in their div- 
ided condition but in their insipidity." 
We have lost the joy of loyal devotion 
to a great cause, the salt has lost its 
savor, and the world is thereby de- 

prived of direction stemming from a 
great faith. The way out "is a situation 
in which the rank and file of our peo- 
ple are filled with a vibrant faith" and 
"by common devotion to a great cause." 

The chapter headings indicate the 
direction which Dr. Trueblood would 
have us follow. The Habit of Adven- 
ture, The Fellowship of the Concerned, 
The Recovery of Discipline, and The 
Grace of Impatience. 

This is a treatise that sees the pos- 
sibilities of a renewed fellowship among 
Christian peoples. Dr. Trueblood's 
Quaker background gives him many 
examples of spiritual greatness to point 
to in mapping a route for us to follow. 
This route would be traveled by a 
smaller group than we would like to 
think, but the idea of a "cell" of de- 
voted followers within the Christian 
community is a familiar pattern in the 
history of Christianity, beginning with 
the Twelve. 

The alternative to futility then is a 
renewed fellowship, a creative fellow- 
ship in which the only conditions for 
membership would be commitment, 
witness, fellowship, vocation, and dis- 
cipline. Is this a new order of Monks, 
a withdrawal from the world? Dr. 
Trueblood insists that this kind of 
fellowship must irresistibly result in 
works. Here again he has the example 
of the Quaker fellowship to clinch his 
arguments. In order to be of service 
to society one must have had a deep 
experience, an inner light that comes 
in silence and through discipline. 

He tells the story of the Quaker 
Meeting into which a stranger wander- 
ed. After he had sat for a half-hour 
or so, he spoke to one sitting in silence 
by his side: "When does the service 
begin?" The answer came: "The serv- 
ice begins when the meeting is over." 
— J. C. Herrin 
Baptist Church, 
Chapel Hill, N. C. 


ALMONTE C. HOWELL, book-review editor of CHRISTIAN FRONTIERS, is 

Professor of English, teaching a course in the Literature of the Bible, at the 
University of North Carolina. 

The late JOSEPHUS DANIELS was, until his recent death, editor and publisher 
of THE NEWS AND OBSERVER of Raleigh, N. C. He achieved national fame 
as Secretary of the Navy under Wilson and as a far-sighted Ambassador to 
Mexico under Roosevelt. His services to his church were no less distinguished. 
His NEWS AND OBSERVER was said to be always on the side of religion, 
morality, and good government. 

CARL T. BAHNER is Professor of Chemistry at Carson-Newman College in 

R. F. HOWES, Professor of Law at Stetson University in Florida, has previously 
contributed to CHRISTIAN FRONTIERS. Readers will recall his "Why Democ- 
racy Fails." 


University of North Carolina 

Chapel Hill, N. C. 



I MARCH, 1948 s^ , 

In This Issue: 



A PRAYER FOR TODAY Edwina Dodge Schaefer 

"THE CURSE OF HAM" R. B. Eleazer 

Publication of the Baptist Book Club, Incorporated 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 

Vol. II MARCH, 1948 No. 9 


William W. Finlator, Editor-in-Chief 
Marjorie E. Moore, Advisory Editor Almonte C. Howell, Book Editor ' 

J. O. Bailey, Managing Editor Sara Lowery, Poetry Editor 


W. O. Carver, Louisville, Ky. J. C. Wilkinson, Athens, Ga. 

H. B. Cross, Nashville, Tenn. Swan Hayworth, Vicksburg, Miss. 

George B. Cutten, Chapel Hill, N. C. Withrow T. Holland, Haynesville, La. J 

J. M. Dawson, Washington. D. C. Adiel J. Moncrief, St. Joseph, Mo. 

Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. Blake Smith, Austin, Texas 

Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C. Hubert R. Howard, Jr., Tulsa, Okla. 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 
Fred B. Helms John McGinnis 

Carl Lee Ousley A. C. McCall 

R. K. Redwine Wilbur W. Hutchins 


Editorials '. 239 

Baptist Churches and the Social Conscience Thomas J. Lassiter 242 

A Prayer for Today Edwina Dodge Schaefer 245 

"The Curse of Ham" R. B. Eleazer 246 

The New Testament: For Christians Only W. W. Finlator 247 

Book Review 249 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July and August) by the Baptist Book 
Club, a non-profit fellowship of ministers and laymen. Address all correspondence to 
Box 508, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 by the Baptist Book Club. Entered 
as second class matter February 6, 1947 at the post office at Chapel Hill, N. C. under the 
Act of March 3, 1879. Subscription price, two dollars a year; twenty-five cents a copy. 
Printed by The Graphic Press,'Inc, Raleigh, North Carolina. 



Everyone knows that the Bible each 
rear is still the best seller in the Eng- 
ish-speaking world, but how many 
mow that the sale of current religious 
looks exceeds that of books on law, 
nedicine, business, science, fine arts, 
ind biography and that only fiction 
md juvenile literature tops the figure 
)f 630 books on religion published in 
;he U. S. last year? We have no less 
luthority for this than the Saturday 
Review of Literature, which in its 
February 21 issue published an elab- 
)rate compilation of recent and pre- 
sently forthcoming religious books most 
ikely to appeal to the general reader. 
'The range of religious books is great; — 
:rom denominational teachings to books 
'or meditation, histories, Bible studies, 
biographies and books concerned with 
religion in modern life, its philosoph- 
ical, psychological, and scientific appli- 
cation." The books listed, a number of 
which were Religious Book Club selec- 
tions, include writers of Protestant, 
Catholic and Jewish faiths from sev- 
eral countries. The post-war production 
is on full swing — but who is sufficient 
for these things? Seminary advice was 
to read a book a week, yet 52 out of 
330 books is not impressive, and this is 
Dnly current religious literature. No 
pastor, however omnivorous a reader, 
3an compass so vast a field, and even 
the competent book-reviewer must con- 
sider a casual acquaintance with the 
1947 library something of an intellectual 
achievement. Nevertheless there they 
are, and we must be grateful to the 
Saturday Review of Literature for a 
compilation that fills us at once with 
challenge and despair. 


According to Religious News Service, 
Baptists in the united States have, in 

gridiron language, gone into a huddle, 
or in political terms, called a party 
caucus, and have emerged with the 
intended result of unity — at least on 
some things. The Baptist Joint Con- 
ference Committee on Public Relations, 
representing Northern, Southern and 
Negro Baptist Conventions, met in 
Washington in February and reported 
the following action: (1) upheld by a 
vote of 34 to 1 the recent action of its 
executive committee in asking the U. S. 
Supreme Court to rule unconstitutional 
a religious education program operat- 
ing in the Champaign, Illinois, public 
schools; (2) reaffirmed its opposition 
to universal military training; (3) 
urged immediate passage of the Strat- 
ton Bill admitting 100,000 displaced 
persons annually to the United States; 
and (4) approved the principle of aid 
to Europe and Asia and urged signifi- 
cantly that it be based "not upon 
political expedience or diplomatic ad- 
vantage, but simply upon the existence 
of a need." It is not only a good and 
pleasant thing for brethren to dwell 
together in unity, but today it is a 
stark necessity. Only as we move "like 
a mighty army" to implement the con- 
victions we hold in common can we 
have any hope of achievement. And 
Baptists, finding this intramural co- 
operation so easy and so effective, must 
and shall join with the varsity teams 
of other Evangelical communions in 
registering the witness of Protestant- 
ism upon the national life. 


Protestants have rather generally 
suspected, sometimes uncomfortably, 
that they are the upper and middle 
classes, the bourgeoisie, of American 
social strata; that their churches are 
attended more by women than by men; 
that the growth of these churches is at 
best only commensurate with the gen- 
eral increase in population and that 



Christian Frontiers 

their clergy, in comparison with the 
other professions, is quite poorly paid. 
What has been only suspected was 
recently confirmed by a report on the 
state of Protestantism in Indianapolis 
compiled by Dr. Frederick A. Shippey, 
director of research for the Board of 
Missions of the Methodist Church. Ac- 
cording to the survey, laborers, who 
comprise 29.2 per cent of the employed 
population of Indianapolis make up 
only 8.6 per cent of the Protestant 
Church membership. The oft-heard re- 
mark that there are more hats than 
bare heads in the average congregation 
found substantiation in the report: 
only 29.2 per cent of all the Protestant 
Church members in their community 
are male. As for growth in member- 
ship Dr. Shippey observed that while 
the city's population between 1930 and 
1945 grew 15.6 per cent, church mem- 
bership increased only 16% — barely 
keeping pace. It ought to embarrass 
the members of all church finance 
committees to read that of the Pro- 
testant clergy 17.7 per cent make be- 
tween $1000 and $2000,, 37.1 per cent 
make between $2000 and $3000, 24 per 
cent earn $3000 to $4000, and only 7.1 
per cent receive over $5000. 

And the end is not yet. The far from 
inspiring survey has this additional 
distressing information to report: less 
than half of the Protestant Church 
members contribute regularly to the 
churches, Sunday School enrollment 
dropped 10.2 per cent in spite of the 
population increase, only 6.9 per cent 
of the church members attend evening 
worship, and an estimated 50,000 per- 
sons of Protestant faith are unreached 
by the churches. Elton Trueblood refers 
in his little book Alternative to Futility 
to the "insipidity" of Protestantism. 
Here it is in black and white for us, a 
church failing to challenge its male 
population, forfeiting to Roman Cath- 
olicism or secularism the ranks of or- 
ganized and unorganized labor (in the 
South the various Holiness sects are 
coming in for their share), recruiting 
only after a manner of inbreeding and 
thus becoming identified with one class, 

meriting in part the uncharitable taunt 
that "the church is the kept mistress 
of industry," and failing to inspire even' 
her own members to more than scant! 
financial support and perfunctory at- 

A pretty dismal diagnosis — but per-' 
haps as we gird our loins to meet the 
rising threats of political Catholicism. 
to make our witness to a generation, 
growing secular faster than we are; 
evangelizing, to realize in Amsterdam^ 
our heart's desire for Christian unity 
and to throw our support behind world 
government and world peace — perhaps: 
we ought to know what manner of<[ 
people we Protestants in America are.; 


A few Sundays back President Tru- 
man attended his church in Washing- 
ton and heard his pastor, Edward 
Hughes Pruden, defend the President's 
Report on Civil Rights as both Christ- 
ian and democratic. More recently C. 
Oscar Johnson, president of the Bap- 
tist World Alliance, reminded the 
Tennessee Evangelistic Conference that 
the churches would not remain silent 
on the Civil Rights issue, for the 
Christian witness on brotherhood trans- 
cended regional traditions and loyal- 
ties. Unfortunately these ministers, and 
possibly a few more, have been voices 
crying in a wilderness of ecclesiastical 
silence. While the politicians, especially 
those of the Claghorne persuasion, are 
having their field day of rebellion and 
revolt (which incidentally may be more 
political than racial) one strains hard 
to catch mid the crescendo of out- 
raged prejudice the still too small 
voice of the Church reminding us that 
fundamental moral issues are at stake. 
Where is the social conscience of the 
Church? Has it been exhausted upon 
the endless battles against liquor and 
gambling? Has she no prophets left 
who have not bowed the knee to the 
Baal of "Southern tradition?" Why her 
studied silence? 

"Let a man examine himself," wrote 
the apostle in another connection. His 



idvice is pertinent here. During these 
tense days when the South, all the way 
from the Klu Klux Klan to respected 
liberal progressive leaders, is shaken 
to its foundation, the minister of God 
mist search his heart and seek God's 
will. Let him place before him three 
locuments: a copy of (1) the Civil 
Rights Report, (2) the Constitution of 
the United States, and (3) the New 
Testament. Remembering that the 
four controversial recommendations 
ire those having to do with lynching, 
the poll tax, Jim Crowism on inter - 
tate transportation facilities, and dis- 
simulation (racial and religious) in 
smployment practices, let him discover 
for himself in what way or ways there 
recommendations collide with or im- 
plement, as the case may be, the prin- 
iples of the Constitution and the New 
Testament. His loyalty to both is un- 
questioned. No one can believe in Con- 
stitution and reject democracy. No one 
can believe in the New Testament and 
reject brotherhood. But democracy and 
brotherhood, unless implemented into 
the practices and laws of a people, re- 
main meaningless ideals. "Why call ye 
me 'Lord, Lord' and do not the things 
which I say?" 

But this is indoctrination — just what 
this editorial set forth to avoid. The 
minister, the Christian leader, must 
find his own answer. And it takes a 
rigorous honesty and a buoyant faith. 
He must be "more daring than devout." 


The one matter upon which the 
medical profession, from the local 
practitioner to the American Medical 
Association, seems most unanimously 
agreed is its emotional opposition to 
socialized medicine. Even in socialist 
Britain 41,000 of the 56,000 members 
of the British Medical Association re- 
cently voted their opposition to the 
National Health Service Act, which, 
under the sponsorship of Minister of 
Health Aneurin Bevan, is ranked as a 
(major social reform. Socialized med- 
icine, in however mild or local a form, 

is the abomination of desolation to the 
medical gentlemen, and simply to 
broach the subject in the presence of 
the M.D.'s is to discover their blind 
spot. To borrow their own term, they 
become "pathological" about the mat- 

Yet for all its uncompromising oppo- 
sition to socialized medicine and per- 
haps because of it, the profession by 
its deeds and attitudes is "asking for 
it." Its bitter fights, through closed- 
shop techniques, pressure and purge 
tactics, and court procedures, against 
every legitimate expression of group 
plans for better medical care have 
awakened a general public resentment. 

More recently two scandals of med- 
ical profiteering have worsened the re- 
lations between a public demanding 
more adequate and less costly medical 
care and a profession which persists 
in regarding its services with some- 
thing akin to "private enterprise." One 
was the highly publicized treatment 
the veterans under government plans 
are getting from the general practi- 
tioners and the other was the neat 
financial arrangement supposedly ex- 
isting between the oculist and the glass 
manufacturing companies. 

Such blots on the medical scutcheon 
become obvious in a rankling sort of 
way when the public is reminded of the 
maldistribution of doctors and special- 
ists. In an address before the National 
Association of Methodist Hospitals and 
Homes Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam ask- 
ed why a child in Mississippi, where 
there are 1,894 persons for every phys- 
ician, should have only a third as much 
chance "for proper scientific medical 
care as a child in New York State 
where there is one physician for every 
528 persons." A young doctor may have 
the legal right to practice where he 
wishes, to choose an area where, 
though doctors are plenteous, fees are 
sizeable, but has he the moral right? 
This is a pertinent question, and if 
the medical associations won't answer 
it the government will. Medicine has 
become a big business in America, as 
Bishop Oxnam pointed out, with six 


Christian Frontiers 

billion dollars invested in healing in- 
stitutions and six million persons en- 
gaged in fulltime healing vocations. 
National health cannot be left up to 
a laissez-faire conception of healing, 
however public-spirited the majority of 
doctors and specialists are. The health 
of the people is greater than the sanct- 
ity of any profession. To do the job 
today will require a lot of house-clean- 
ing and changed hearts in medical 
associations and local practitioners. 
Stubbornly to resist is to invite the 
government in. Socialized medicine is 
up to the doctor. 


As we go to press the big news of 
the moment is President Truman's 
address before Congress in which he 
asked for immediate passage of the 
European Recovery Program, Universal 
Training Bill and Selective Service. In 
the main there have been three re- 
actions expressed or implied: 1. The 
President and his advisors are seeking 
to create the impression of a crisis in 
the midst of which it would be unwise 
for the country to change leaders. 
Otherwise, it is said, President Truman 
is certain to lose the election in Nov- 
ember. 2. The President and his ad- 
visors fear that Russia will, innocently 
and ill-advised, go too far in their pre- 
sent drive and precipitate a war. Thus 
we would be merely warning Russia 
that their present course is fraught 
with danger, and that we were pre- 

paring to put out any fires which thes 
might kindle through carelessness. 3 
That the Russians are definitely benl 
on armed conquest of Europe and thai 
war is imminent; therefore, we an 
preparing to fight, and it is the dutj 
of every good citizen to follow the pro- 
posals which our President has made. 

About each of these opinions we arc 
not well enough informed to pass fina 
judgement. The first one based on po- 
litical expediency is almost too cynica. 
to be plausible. The second, using i 
psychology of fear to halt aggressior 
is almost sure to fail (any analysis oi 
the use of fear shows negative results) 
The third based on actual warfare 
offers no hope whatsoever since an- 
other war would be too terrible in its: 
consequences to leave any country with 
enough strength to rebuild the remain- 
ing aspects of civilization. It is too bac 
that President Truman did not fine 
some possible alternative approach tc 
the problem of dealing with the Rus- 

From what we have been told, the 
Russian leaders are out to win contro! 
of the world of Communist dominion 
even if it means another war. But alsc 
we know that the masses of Russian 
people find the prospects for war as 
distasteful as we ourselves. Therefore 
we are under the terrible obligation tc 
set our own house in order, to make 
freedom ring from our shores, so thai 
not only the Russian people, but al 
Europeans and Asiatics will trust us tc 
aim for peaceful means of restoring 
hope and of rehabiliting life.— J.C.H. 

Baptist Churches and the Social 

By Thomas J. Lassiter 

ONE night last year a Baptist min- 
ister in a Southern town reviewed 
for the women of the missionary so- 
ciety the disquieting book on the Negro 
problem which author T. B. Maston 

called appropriately, "Of One." Nexl 
day one of the most faithful attendants 
at church meetings, a member of the 
society, proudly informed friends thai 
she had deliberately stayed away frorr 

Baptist Churches and the Social Conscience 


;he meeting the night before because 
ihe already knew all she wanted to 
mow about how to treat the "niggers." 
Not often does this member of the 
missionary society feel compelled to 
stay away from church programs be- 
cause of fear that her fixed social be- 
liefs will be challenged. Only occasion- 
ally does her church offer any program 
that leads its members to come to grips 
with vital issues in the social realm 
under the influence of Christian 

In the same community is a prom- 
inent layman of another denomination 
who becomes exceedingly irritated at 
every mention of the need for fairer 
treatment of Negroes. A believer in 
White supremacy as an expression of 
God's will, he refuses to acknowledge 
many of the injustices of racial dis- 

In a neighboring town an active 
churchman, reacting bitterly against 
the President's civil rights program, 
wrote recently in a newspaper article 
that the time had come for the people 
to put an end to "favoritism for Ne- 

The enumeration of similar attitudes 
held by members of the Christian fel- 
lowship could be almost endless, be- 
cause vehement racial prejudice is not 
uncommon among church leaders, and 
in many churches it is rampant among 
rank-and-file members. Tenacious 
clinging to prejudicial views on race 
relations is not confined to the older 
members. In communities throughout 
the South, it is the pattern handed 
down to youth, and one grieves in con- 
templation of the lethargy of the 
church in ignoring the Christian obliga- 
tion to seek alteration of the pattern. 

If to countless Southern churchmen 
white supremacy is ordained of God, 
the supremacy of employer over em- 
ployee or of landlord over tenant is 
frequently taken for granted as not out 
of harmony with Christian righteous- 

There assuredly are numerous praise- 
worthy examples of Christian sympathy 
for oppressed groups, but anyone who 

is familiar with the South, especially 
the rural South, is aware that trade 
unionism is synonymous with sin in the 
book of many a Southern church mem- 
ber who commands respect as one of 
the faithful. It is deemed an unright- 
eous act for working men to join un- 
ions and strike for decent wages, but 
unchallenged is the assumed right of 
employers to organize effectively and 
beat down wages. 

It is apparent that in no small num- 
ber of Southern rural churches, among 
deacons and other church officials who 
belong to the landlord group, there is 
contempt for the farm tenant class 
that is irreconcilable with principles 
laid down by Jesus Christ. Historically 
the abusive treatment of tenants by 
greed-stricken landlords has been no 
inconsequential factor in the creation 
of the shiftlessness that admittedly is 
widespread among Southern tenant 
farmers. But it is no rarity to find a 
leading churchman of the agricultural 
South who ridicules any suggestion of 
landlord irresponsibility as he engages 
in a verbal excoriation of "sorry" 

The problems of race relations, in- 
dustrial strife, and farm tenancy are 
not the only social issues which are 
made more difficult to solve because 
men who call themselves Christian had 
rather cleave stubbornly to their atti- 
tudes of intolerance than make an 
honest objective search for Christian 
answers to their increasingly complex 
dilemmas. The whole range of social, 
economic and political conflicts, which 
finds itself out of restraint in these 
stormy days of idolatrous allegiance to 
money and power, stands begging for 
organized Christianity to emerge from 
its shell of decorous theology. It stands 
pleading for the church to lead, by 
concrete method as well as abstract 
preaching, in a crusade for the appli- 
cation of fundamental Christian prin- 
ciples to every human relationship. 

If the church's race haters, enemies 
of organized labor, and contemptuous 
landlords were, beyond question, hypo- 
critical church affiliates, then any in- 


Christian Frontiers 

dictment properly would be directed 
against the evil nature of unregenerate 
individuals, not against the church. 
But the wide prevalence of racial and 
class animosities among Christian 
leaders and followers of undoubted sin- 
cerity seems to suggest that something 
vital must be missing from the pro- 
gram of many Christian churches. It 
is inconceivable that racial and class 
prejudices could remain totally uncon- 
quered, on any large scale, where the 
climate continuously exposes the germs 
of prejudice to destruction. It is within 
the power of the church to provide a 
Christian climate in which man's so- 
cial, economic and political bigotry can- 
not easily survive. 

If Southern Baptists are to bridge the 
gap between the formalities of church- 
house religion and the realities of so- 
cial existence, responsibility must be 
accepted at several denominational 
levels. Convention, association, local 
church, pastor and layman must be- 
come enthusiastic participants in the 
bridge-building task. 

Prom time to time excellent conven- 
tion declarations are issued as ideals 
for guiding Baptists on questions of 
social service and civic righteousness, 
but somehow the influence of these 
enunciations seems to meet with con- 
siderable difficulty in seeping down to 
the level of the local church and the 
local church member. There is need 
for a technique whereby the difficulty 
may be overcome. 

Already there is encouragement in 
the Southern Baptist Convention's 
appointment of Dr. Hugh Brimm as a 
salaried worker in social action. Here 
at least is a beginning, modest but 

Would it not make the program of 
Baptist churches better balanced and 
more far-reaching and would it not be 
timely, for every state convention to 
employ specialists zealous for promot- 
ing a greater application of Christian 
doctrine to the workings of the social 
and economic order? Such Christian 
specialists could be sent out to the 
associations and local churches to lead 

the people into the Christian frontiers 
much in the same manner as repre- 
sentatives of missionary, Sunday school, 
training union and other phases of 
Baptist work are sent to inspire the 
people to broaden their vision in the 
traditional areas of the denominational 

At the level of the association, the] 
committees on social service and public 
morals and temperance could be profit- 
ably consolidated and expanded into a 
committee on Christian ethics and 
Christian citizenship with year-rounc] 
activity no less important than that of 
any other department of associational 
work. Conferences, forums, and clinics 
could be sponsored to awaken local 
churches to the need of adjusting their 
teaching, training, and preaching pro-! 
grams for an effective enlightenment 
of members in the all-embracing nature 
of the Christian gospel. No longer 
would there be the likelihood of confin- 
ing associational interest in social ser- 
vice and public morals to appeal for 
support of church charities or denun- 
ciation of the liquor traffic, both con- 
tained in perfunctory reports presented 
annually before the association and 
later relegated to the oblivion of print- 
ed minutes. 

To achieve the goals of a wider 
Christian horizon, pastors and laymen 
must abandon their complacency. There 
is no room in the Christian scheme of 
things for indifference, shortsighted- 
ness, deliberate subservience to deep- 
rooted prejudices or the sacrifice of 
one's soul to expediency. Courageous 
pastors and laymen, acting prayerfully 
and always in a spirit of love that 
recognizes human imperfections as 
Jesus recognized them, must move 
ahead of myopic congregations, lead- 
ing the people, slowly perhaps, but 
surely into new and profoundly mean- 
ingful Christian experiences. 

One warning may prove helpful. To 
specify that taking sides with a labor 
union in a particular labor-manage- 
ment dispute is the will of God is no 
more within the province of the Christ- 
ian church than to specify that white 

Baptist Churches and the Social Conscience 


supremacy is divinely sanctioned. The 
church runs into dangers when it at- 
tempts to specify and catalog either 
sins or righteous acts. It must always 
adhere to principles as Jesus taught 
them. But if Christianity means any- 
thing at all, it is proper for the church 
to guide its people into a quest for an 
honest understanding of human con- 
flicts and the relation of these con- 
flicts to the teachings of Jesus. 

Those who fear that a practice of 
vital Christianity might lead eventually 
to drastic changes in the current pat- 

tern of Southern society or in the 
capitalistic system have no moral right 
to block free discussion of major eco- 
nomic and social issues in the church, 
certainly as long as the discussion is 
conducted under sincerely Christian 
auspices. Christianity cannot be tied to 
any social order or economic system 
and cannot afford to tread lightly 
where evil abounds, no matter what 
its effect on the status quo may be. At 
least it cannot and still retain the 
force which Jesus gave it. 

A Prayer for Today 

By Edwina Dodge Schaefer 


PLEASE, dear God, protect me. The 
smudge pots have been lighted and 
they are belching smoke. I am only a 
housewife; just the same I am frighten- 
ed because I have a bad habit of speak- 
ing up in company. This evil you must 
help me overcome lest even I find a 
smudge pot burning under my window. 

So please, God, do not let me argue 
in favor of a society in which all men 
may be allowed equal rights, or even 
let me say that I believe in the brother- 
hood of Man. 

Also please cleanse my thoughts so 
that I may say convincingly that I be- 
lieve all captains of industry to be 
noble, just, honest men. Let me say 
that the reason they find it necessary 
to amass huge profits today is that 
during the war they were practically 
poor men, they were taxed so heavily. 
Let me feel sorry for them and let me 
cheer them on their way so that we 
may again have great tycoons to whom 
we can point with pride. 

Please help me to hate all labor 
leaders and to approve all legislation 
which puts the laborer under the kind 
heel of the great industrialists. 

And God, help me to believe in the 
infallibility of the law of Supply & 
Demand. All the good people believe 
implicity in this unwritten law. Don't 
even let me suggest right now that 
there might be a better way of work- 

ing out our economy than by this 
rickety seesaw method. 

You can let me say, God, that I be- 
lieve in Free Enterprise, but please 
don't let me add: "but Free Enterprise 
can become a menace unless restrain- 
ed." This appendage would be inter- 
preted as a slur against our great 
monopolies. The pure in heart believe 
that monopolies are lovely institutions, 
the bulwark of our economy. So don't 
let me so much as aim a verbal pea 
shooter at the lovely institutions' raf- 
ters, at least not today. 

As you know, dear God, I whole- 
heartedly believe in our democratic 
form of Government, but don't let me, 
not now while the smudge pots are out, 
be so foolish as to even hint that there 
might be room for improvement. Too, 
put it in my heart to cheer all forms 
of Senatorial investigations. Let me 
say that these investigations are just 
and that what they unearth is a greater 
menace to our country than the con- 
fusion of thought they evoke and the 
impure tongues they silence. 

Now that you've heard my plea, dear 
God, I beseech you to please get busy 
and make me pure so that I may be 
worthy of joining the ranks of the good 
150 per cent Americans. Amen! 

*Reprinted with permission from The 
Saturday Review of Literature, Jan. 24, 


Christian Frontiers 

The Curse of Ham 

By R. B. Eleazer 

THE curse of Ham has certainly 
stuck, hasn't it?" Jackson was 
looking through the pullman car win- 
dow at a crew of sweating Negro labor- 
ers at work on the railroad right-of- 
way, while their white foreman sat in 
the shade of a tree near by. 

"I don't think I recall the curse of 
Ham," replied his companion. "Just 
what was it?" 

"Surely you recall the story; it's one 
of the most familiar in the Bible. Noah 
got drunk, you remember, and his son 
Ham made fun of him. To punish Ham's 
irreverence God cursed him, turned 
him black, and condemned him and 
his descendants to be servants forever 
to the other branches of the human 
family — 'hewers of wood and drawers 
of water,' I think the Bible says. Cer- 
tainly the Negroes have been that, and 
it looks as if they always will be." 

"Oh, is that what you were talking 
about? Yes, I remember that story, 
but not at all the way you tell it. I 
have a Bible here in my bag. Let's see 
exactly how it goes. Here it is, Genesis 
ninth chapter, verses twenty to twenty- 
six: Noah planted a vineyard, drank 
of the wine, was drunken, was uncover- 
ed. Ham saw it and told his brothers. 
And Noah awoke and said, 'Cursed be 
Canaan; a servant of servants shall he 
be unto his brethren.' That's the story, 
isn't it?" 

"Yes, that's it," said Jackson eagerly; 
"just as I told you." 

"And yet quite different from what 
you told me, isn't it? Your version was 
right in part, but totally wrong, it 
seems to me, on every important point." 

"I don't see that, at all," replied 

"Well, in the first place, observe that 
no curse whatever was pronounced on 
Ham. It was his son Canaan at whom 
the curse was directed, and Canaan 
was wholly innocent, so far as the 
record indicates. Hardly fair, would you 

"Oh, yes, I remember now. It was 
Canaan, not Ham, whom God cursed." 

"Wait a minute! 'Whom God cursed,' 
you say? I don't remember it that way." 

"Why, of course it was God who 
cursed him. Noah had no right to curse 

"No, I think not myself. But God 
certainly didn't do it. Here, let's read 
the story again : 'and Noah said, Cursed 
be Canaan; a servant of servants shall 
he be unto his brethren.' You see, God 
is not even mentioned." 

Jackson seized the Bible and read 
the verse over two or three times. 

"That's a fact," he admitted ruefully. 
For a moment he was puzzled; then 
he had an idea: 

"But Noah couldn't have turned him 
black! You'll surely admit that nobody 
but God could have done that." 

"But where do you get the idea that 
anybody was turned black? The Bible 
doesn't say so." 

"Why, of course it does! Everybody 
knows that. Turn back there and read 
that story again." 

They read it again, scanning every 
line, every word, with utmost care. Not 
the slightest suggestion that anybody's 
color was changed by the fraction of a 
tint; no indication that God had any- 
thing to do with the curse; no reason 
to suppose that it had any significance 
beyond the lifetime of Noah's imme- 
diate family. 

"Well, I give up," said Jackson. "I 
certainly thought I knew that story. 
Then there is nothing to prove that 
Negroes are the result of God's curse 
and a race divinely ordained to serv- 

"Not a thing," his friend replied. 
"Nothing even to suggest it. Further- 
more, there's no reason to suppose that 
the inhabitants of Africa descended 
from Canaan at all. The tenth chapter 
of Genesis says distinctly that Canaan 
was the progenitor of the many Ca- 
naanite tribes who located and remain- 

'The Curse of Ham' 


ed in Palestine. Cush, another of Ham's 
sons, seems to have been the father 
of the branch that later settled in 

"Then how did they become black?" 
was Jackson's last question. 

"The most reasonable assumption — 
and a thoroughly scientific one — is that 
the dark races were developed by the 
well-known law of natural selection, 
operating over long periods under a 
tropical sun. In each succeeding gen- 

eration that law would pick the darker 
types for survival, while the lighter 
types, with less protective pigment in 
the skin, would tend to succumb to the 
climate. Given time enough, this pro- 
cess would inevitably result in a highly 
pigmented race, with the color best 
suited to its environment." 

"Maybe you are right," said Jackson. 
"At any rate, you have given me some- 
thing to think about." 

The New Testament: For 
Christians Only 

By W. W. Finlator 

DR. Louie D. Newton, president of 
the Southern Baptist Convention, 
protested recently against a practice 
by the courts of sentencing young 
offenders to a term of strict Sunday 
school and church attendance. About 
the same time the alumni, faculty and 
students of a state-supported school 
in a southwestern state were shocked 
to learn that a student had sawed off 
the cross from a chapel that was being 
dedicated as a house of worship for 
all creeds. These two incidents are in 
line with the compunction felt by many 
Christians that men and women, 
whether Christians or non-Christians 
must swear over the Bible "to tell the 
truth, the whole truth, and nothing 
but the truth." 

Churches are a Christian institution 
and no secular institution, such as our 
courts, has a right, regardless of purity 
of motive, to compel attendance upon 
them by non-Christian (or Christian 
either, for that matter). The Cross is 
a Christian symbol and has no place, 
as the school authorities had conceded, 
in an edifice reared for all creeds. The 
Bible is exclusively a Hebrew-Christian 
book, just as the Koran is exclusively 
a Mohammedan book and, apart from 
Jesus' injunction against all swearing, 
the Bible ought never to be employed 

to coerce pagans into truth telling. By 
the same reasoning the New Testa- 
ment is par excellence the possession 
of Christian believers who alone have a 
right to interpret its message and 
propagate its witness. 

It is of vital importance that we re- 
gard the New Testament in the light 
of this exclusiveness and to insist upon 
our monopoly of ownership. In the 
hands of non-Christians, or even quasi- 
Christians, however much goodwill 
these men might possess, the New 
Testament becomes compromised and 
stultified in its central teaching. It was 
not written for non-Christians or for 
quasi-Christians. The Sermon on the 
Mount, so eulogized and idealized by 
men of all and no faiths, was spoken 
not to the masses gathered on the 
mountain side but to a very limited 
and select groups who in ■ the sermon 
were called "the salt of the earth." The 
Savior quite frankly admitted on an- 
other occasion that his resort to par- 
ables was for the express purpose of 
conveying truth to some men and with 
holding it from others. The apostle 
Paul, who spoke of the gospel as 
"sheer folly" to the pagan world, 
wrote his letters to little fellowships 
of Christians called churches or to in- 
dividual Christians, and always for 


Christian Frontiers 

specific purposes. Nothing was farther 
from his mind than the setting forth 
for the world at large of universal 
principles after the manner of a Zeno 
or an Epicurus. And the book of Re- 
velation, which today is a sort of 
biblical no-man's-land for thoughtful 
Christians, was written in dynamic 
apocalypticisms so that the scattered 
and persecuted Christians, and not 
their pagan persecutors upon whom so 
much of the vials of its wrath is pour- 
ed, might understand and take heart. 
The New Testament was written for 

Today the central message of the 
New Testament is stultified, com- 
promised and distorted because Christ- 
ians have lost sight of their right of 
eminent domain with regard to their 
sacred scriptures. We have allowed 
men of good will, though no Christians, 
to persuade our generation that the 
Sermon on the Mount is a beautiful 
and lovely ideal, a goal maybe realiz- 
able in the dim and distant future, but 
certainly an immediate impossibility. 
But this sermon was spoken in dead 
seriousness and there once were men 
and women who received it in dead 
seriousness. They literally loved their 
enemies. To tell a people, uninitiated 
into the mysteries of Redeeming Love, 
to love their enemies is "sheer folly," 
but these words were never meant for 
unregenerate ears. Nor was the Golden 
Rule, so universally appropriated, en- 
trusted to a pagan world. Logically the 
Golden Rule can mean to the "un- 
saved": You fill my glass and I shall 
fill yours; you lend me your wife and 
I shall borrow yours. This certainly 

may be doing as a pagan would be 
done by. Any humanism boasting that 
it may adopt Christ's teachings without 
Christ breaks up badly at this point. 
As Dr. Harry Emerson Posdick puts it, 
"Christ Himself is Christianity," and 
any substitution of his teachings for 
commitment to his Person is a travesty 
upon the essential witness of our faith. 
This leads to a final word. Politicians 
and statesmen make it a practice in 
their public utterances to call upon 
the citizenry to preserve democracy, 
personal liberties or the national state 
by abiding by the sublime teachings 
of the Man of Galilee. The New Testa- 
ment becomes for them an instrument 
for some social purpose such as pre- 
servation of freedom or national de- 
fense or economic security. Righteous- 
ness, purity, integrity do exalt a nation 
but righteousness, purity, integrity are 
not at the heart of the gospel. Jesus 
and the writers of the New Testament 
knew nothing of, and in a sense would 
have cared little for, democracy, priv- 
ate enterprise, Western Civilization or 
even a United Nations. Their words 
were directed to, and had meaning 
for, little fellowships of men and wom- 
en who knew they had passed from 
death to life because the same Love 
that had gone to a cross for them 
possessed their heart's completely. Not 
to save civilization, not to impose upon 
a pagan world, a lofty moral code were 
these scriptures recorded but to be "the 
wisdom of God and the power of God" 
to those called to be Christians to 
whom alone God had revealed the un- 
searchable riches of his love. 

Book Review 

The Christian Way In Race Relations, 

A Symposium. Edited by William Stuart 
Nelson. New York, Harper & Brothers, 
1948. 256 pp. 

The thirteen essays in this challeng- 
ing volume make disturbing reading. 
The work of distinguished scholars pre- 
sented at intervals during the past few 
years at the Howard University School 
of Religion before an Institute which 
has been engaged in a study of Christ- 
ianity and the problem of race rela- 
tions, these essays were first subjected 
to criticism by Institute members, then 
gathered and edited by the Dean of 
the School, Dr. Nelson. 

Effectively written throughout, the 
book opens with Dean Nelson's chal- 
lenging "Crucial Issues in America's 
Race Relations Today." His message, 
that it is later then we think in race 
relations, cannot be shrugged aside. 
Presented not demagogically but calm- 
ly, it synthesizes the thoughtful opin- 
ions of leaders of his race. Professor 
G. D. Kelsey likewise ends his scholar- 
ly paper with a challenge: "The Christ- 
ian Way in Race Relations" is not be- 
ing practiced; the caste system, with its 
intolerable burdens, must give place to 
a Christian realization of the worth of 
the individual, for "the well-known 
cliches, 'the time is not ripe,' 'this will 
do more harm than good,' 'Negroes are 
satisfied,' are a stench in the nostrils of 

In one of the most brilliantly writ- 
ten chapters, Professor J. N. Hughley 
of the North Carolina College, presents 
a penetrating analysis of "Economic 
Forces and the Christian Way," point- 
ing out how a "Christianity which does 
not repudiate the whole framework of 
selfish, profit-seeking capitalism . . . re- 
mains an ally of an order alien to its 
ideals," and that "to seek a fresh and 
nobler ethos for our Society, a more 
truly Christian social morality, is the 
great demand of our times." The Negro, 
he concludes, caught in the meshes of 

a system which approves exploitation, 
suffers all its ill effects but rarely gains 
its benefits. Similarly in his essay, "The 
Christian Way in Politics," Professor 
A. W. Hardy challenges that "Nowhere 
in American Life is the Church more 
recreant to its profession of the Father- 
hood of God and the Brotherhood of 
Man than in race relations," but con- 
cludes that although it has proven 
weak in presenting the fundamental 
principles of social justice, it can, and 
must function in politics (as a catalytic 
agent) to create a constructive citizen- 
ship among whites and Negroes alike. 
Perhaps the most pessimistic view is 
found in Professor J. H. Robinson's 
"Social Practices and the Christian 
Way." Taking up one by one the evils 
which grow out of the system of caste 
and class which he finds prevalent in 
American society (on which he remarks 
that "Christianity has little levelling 
effect," and that "there is little prac- 
tical relationship between social prac- 
tice and the Christian way"), he sadly 
concludes that "it is difficult for the 
Christian way to find full realization 
in the field of race relations." 

After thus setting the scene, the 
Symposium goes on in six essays to 
assess the resources: the Church, the 
Christian College, the Y.M. and 
Y.W.C.A., Civic and Social Agencies, 
and the individual. These essays, by 
men acquainted at first hand with the 
problems they discuss, are factual, con- 
structive, but not overly optimistic. To 
detail them is beyond the space limits 
of this review; but they, like the others, 
challenge with unflattering pictures of 
a situation we all recognize. 

A new note is struck by Dr. Benj. 
Mays in "The Obligations of the In- 
dividual Christian," when he urges the 
Negro not to hate the White, even 
when fully aware of the oppressions 
of traditions, but to remember that 
"With God's help the true Christian 
can be loyal to the highest and to the 



Christian Frontiers 

best that he knows." President R. I. 
McKinney concludes the volume with a 
thoughtful appraisal of the "Bases of 
Hope" — that the Christian Church may 
become cognizant of its guilt, and may 
recognize that some of the causes 
which keep back the ideal of God's 
Kingdom can be eradicated if Christ- 
ian people will "give themselves syste- 
matically to analysis and breaking 
down" these fears and their causes. 
Thus "mutual and active respect for 
personality will be realized . . . this is 
our hope for the Christian Way in race 

The seriousness and factual realism 
of these essays are guaranteed to 
awaken Christian Americans out of 
their complacency. The modest hope 
of the editor, expressed in the preface, 
that the book will move the readers to 
"sit in judgment on the profoundly im- 
portant question of the practicability 
of Christianity in relation to social 
problems" is fully realized. 

But realization is not enough. Con- 
structive effort is needed. One instance 
out of the mass of facts will illustrate 
the challenge: Dean Nelson offers the 
disheartening news that for the 28,000 
Negro churches there are a total of 327 
college graduates in preparation for the 
ministry. The Negro of the rising gen- 
eration misdoubts the practiced meek- 
ness of his forefathers as a means of 
achieving his desired ends and is tempt- 
ed to forsake the church for other, 
more direct means. As the book shows, 
against this exodus the best minds of 
the race are striving. Does it not offer 
a challenge to us all to look to our 
own practices, that we may add one 
weight of our influence as Christians, 
regardless of skin-color, to make de- 
mocracy a practice as well as a theory, 
to make the Kingdom of God prevail 
in this area of our national life? 

—A. C. Howell 

These Shared His Passion, Cross and 
Power, A Lenten Triology by Edwin 
McNeill Poteat. Harper & Brothers, 
New York, 1948. XII, 131; X, 192; XVI, 
182 pp. $1.95. 

Professor Williston Walker many 
years ago revolutionized the writing of 
church history by enlivening its dates 
and events with the emphasis upon 
characters and persons. Dr. Poteat has 
gone a step further in giving dramatic 
vividness to the activity of those per- 

He writes essays on a given theme in 
two parts. In the first, persons and 
events are brought out of a world of 
vague acquaintance into the real world 
of twenty centuries ago. Scriptural 
background and historical imagination 
are used to make life seem real and 
vivid. Thus he uses the story as a set- 
ting for a discussion of the impact of 
the spirit of Jesus on the life of our 
own day. In the second part, the first 
century is brought to this century. 

The theme of the trilogy is "the 
author's feeling that all the characters 
discussed here are representative of the 
conflict that Jesus sets up in every 
heart that confronts him" (p. xii). Ex- 
amples of the two-part treatment are: 
"Women who Lamented Him" and 
"The Cross and Family"; "Two Male- 
factors" and "The Cross and the Mean- 
ing of Life"; and "Simon Peter" and 
"Power and Prejudice." This method 
sharpens the incision which the spirit 
of Jesus makes in the heart of any 
person who confronts him. 

For the student of the Bible there is 
new light upon texts, events, and places 
as the author draws upon his rich 
scholarship, poetic imagination and 
picturesque, yet precise, vocabulary. An 
example of an interesting, if controver- 
sial, handling of one of the more diffi- 
cult events in the life of our Lord, the 
cleansing of the temple, is "The House 
of Prayer" which centers the attention 
not on the scramble in the temple, but 
on the struggle in the soul of the 

This trilogy will throw new light on 
the entrance of the spirit of Jesus into 
our world, past and present. The three 
volumes in one, incidentally, make a 
wonderful bargain at $1.95 for one who 
must watch his budget. 

—John T. Wayland 

Book Review 


The Heart of the Yale Lectures, by 

Batsell Barrett Baxter. New York: The 
Macmillan Company, 1947. 332 p. $2.50. 

In 1871 Yale College accepted a gift 
of $10,000 from Mr. Henry N. Sage of 
Brooklyn to be used in founding a lec- 
tureship in the Theological Depart- 
ment, to be designated "The Lyman 
Beecher Lectureship on Preaching," 
and to be filled by eminently successful 
ministers of any evangelical denomi- 
nation. Henry Ward Beecher, who was 
largely responsible for the gift and the 
pattern of work, delivered the lectures 
the first three years. For seventy-seven 
years these lectures have been con- 
tinued, and sixty-nine volumes of the 
lectures have been published. 

After a careful study of the entire 
series, Dr. Baxter has gathered what 
he considers "the choicest of the fruits 
of these many volumes into a single 
volume which can be mastered in a 
much briefer period of time, and which 
at the same time will be more readily 
accessible to the thousands of interest- 
ed ministers." 

The book is well organized and is 
especially fitted for quick reference and 
detailed study by division into three 
sections: The Preacher, The Sermon, 
and The Congregation. 

Dr. Baxter has gleaned statements 
from the various lectures dealing with 
the personality of the preacher, and his 
qualifications such as character, sin- 
cerity, enthusiasm, mentality, knowl- 
edge, reality, imagination, originality, 
and health. In another chapter he 
deals with the preacher's attitudes to- 
ward self, the audience, and the min- 

Typical of his analysis is this state- 
ment from the chapter on "Style." 
"Nine of the Yale lectures mentioned 
clearness as the first requisite of a 
good style. Still others made it simply 
an element in their list of qualities 
necessary for a good style. Robinson 
called for style to be like transparent 

I value the volume highly, and re- 

commend it to all ministers for both 
reference and careful study. 

— Garland A. Hendricks 

First Steps In Prayer, Kermit R. Olsen. 
Fleming H. Revell Company, New York, 
1947. $1.25. 

When the famous Dr. Samuel John- 
son, of London, was asked whether he 
could give a satisfactory argument for 
prayer his reply was, "Sir, there is no 
argument for prayer." In my judgment 
this is one of the most profound as 
well as one of the truest statements 
ever made with reference to this most 
meaningful and important section of 
human life. It says to men that prayer 
deals with a sphere of human expe- 
rience that is deeper and more basic 
than the intellect. It is saying in a 
different way what the mystic phil- 
osopher, Pascal, ocross the channel said 
in the seventeenth century, "The heart 
has reasons that the reason knows not 

Mr. Olsen, the author of this little 
book, is a pastor in Dayton, Ohio. He 
is a pastor who takes a personal in- 
terest in the members of his flock. This 
interest, moreover, centers just where 
the interest of the true pastor should 
center, viz. in the reality, the richness 
and the ripeness of the soul-life of his 
people. In seeking to minister to this 
group, from the least of them to the 
greatest of them, he finds many people 
perplexed, disturbed and distressed over 
their poverty of soul. The pastor him- 
self is disturbed and distressed on their 
behalf and on behalf of others out be- 
yond the bounds of his own congrega- 
tion. This little book of 118 pages is 
the product of Dr. Olsen's own agony 
o fsoul in wrestling with this most 
vital matter and in his effort to bring 
help to his fellows. 

When I read the title to this book I 
said in the depths of my soul, "This is 
a book for me." When I had finished 
reading p. 118, I said deeper in my soul, 
if possible, "Thank God that men and 
women are turning again to the Great 
Teacher — the ultimate Teacher in the 
realm of spirit — with their heart-hun- 

Christian Frontiers 

gry cry, 'Lord, teach us to pray'." 

Here is the little opening paragraph 
of the book: "Far back in the dim past 
of the history of this mysterious uni- 
verse emerged a new something called 
life. We cannot fully understand its 
processes of birth, growth and death. 
We can only describe it as a power that 
possesses an inner motivation, pro- 
motes growth and has the ability to 
reproduce its own kind." 

A few sentences, then, from the last 
page of this book read thus: "After all, 
prayer is the human spirit in fellow- 
ship with God. Prayer is the com- 
munion of soul with its only Comrade. 
It is the renewal of strength from an 
Almighty Friend. It is clasping hands 
with a Loving Father." 

Perhaps the most difficult question 
connected with prayer is that of the 
strong and growing conviction of the 
fact of law and consistency in the 
universe. Dr. Olsen asserts that the 
reign of law is found in every sphere — 
physical, mental, moral, spiritual. To 
antagonize these eternal principles 
means defeat, suffering, and failure; 
to discover them, adjust oneself to 
them and work in harmony with them 
means success and happiness. The prin- 
ciples named in this connection seem 
to me to be in thorough harmony with 

reality, which means also that they 
are in harmony with the story of God's 
revelation of his will and purpose as 
seen in the Bible. The main principles 
named by Mr. Olsen in this matter are 
"absolute sincerity, selflessness, love, 
and relinquishment. This is to say that 
one must know all the laws of prayer 
before he can pray, but it is true that 
all the great praying souls, if not con- 
sciously, at least unconsciously, follow 
these laws." 

"The spiritual laws are operative all 
about us. We can use them or ignore 
them, that is our prerogative. When 
we accept them we find a new mar- 
velous world with untold possibilities. 
When we ignore them we close the door 
of the most thrilling experience that 
could come to us. When we open our- 
selves to God a change takes place 
deep down within us, enhancing the 
world. We see life in a totally different 
light, and we know we walk along the 
eternal ways." 

If I may express a personal opinion 
in closing it is this: The greatest need 
of the Christian world today is that 
men and women shall learn to pray. 
To one who wishes to learn in this 
vital matter, First Steps in Prayer will 
help and help greatly. 

— W. R. Cullom 


University of North Carolina 

Chapel Hill, f*. c. 



if. V nf Ua.41. n- 


Univarsity of North Caroli: 

Chapel Hill, N. c. 

\ APRIL, 1948 ^i.^ 

:arolina roo 

/?7 This Issue: 




Publication of the Baptist Book Club, Incorporated 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 
Vol. II APRIL, 1948 No. 10 


William W. Finlator, Editor-in-Chief 
Marjorie E. Moore, Advisory Editor Almonte C. Howell, Book Editor 

J. O. Bailey, Managing Editor Sara Lowery, Poetry Editor 


W. O. Carver, Louisville, Ky. J. C. Wilkinson, Athens, Ga. 

H. B. Cross, Nashville, Tenn. Swan Hayworth, Vicksburg, Miss. 

George B. Cutten, Chapel Hill, N. C. Withrow T. Holland, Haynesvtlle, La. 

J. M. Dawson, Washington, D. C. Adiel J. Moncrief, St. Joseph, Mo. 

Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. Blake Smith, Austin, Texas 

Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C. Hubert R. Howard, Jr., Tulsa, Okla. 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 
Fred B. Helms John McGinnis 

Carl Lee Ousley A. C. McCall 

R. K. Redwine Wilbur W. Hutchins 


Editorials 253 

Introduction to the Thought of Reinhold Niebuhr John C. Bennett 257 

Formula For Friendship Harold L. Trigg.... 260 

Baptists In California William W. Barnes 263 

Book Review 266 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July and August) by the Baptist Book\ 
Club, a non-profit fellowship of ministers and laymen. Address all correspondence to I 
Box 508, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 by the Baptist Book Club. Entered 
as second class matter February 6, 1947 at the post office at Chapel Hill, N. C. under the . 
Act of March 3, 1879. Subscription price, two dollars a year; twenty-five cents a copy. 
Printed by The Graphic Press, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina. 



John R. Mott, Stanley Jones, and 
Robert E. Speer, are rare souls but 
evidently Dr. Stanley I. Stuber, director 
of public relations of the Northern 
Baptist Convention, thinks their tribe 
can be increased. According to Religious 
News Service Dr. Stuber, addressing 
the members of the Mission's Public 
(Relations Office, issued a call for 
("Missionary Statesmen" who by creat- 
iing a climate in which world peace can 
: exist will avert another world war. 
"Where are the missionaries who will 
proclaim real freedom — freedom of re- 
ligion, separation of church and state, 
liberty of conscience?" asked Dr. Stuber. 
"Where are the missionaries who will 
champion human rights everywhere? 
Where are the missionaries who will 
fight the causes which lead to war, and 
the social and economic sins which lead 
to the destruction of the human soul?" 
It is "high time", he continued, that 
"we commission scores of such mission- 
aries and send them forth to proclaim 
a social gospel grounded in Christ's 
Sermon on the Mount." Calling on 
|every church in America to champion 
Ithe principles and recommendations of 
President Truman's Committee on Civil 
Rights Dr. Stuber warned that "it will 
'be impossible from now on to have race 
hatred at home, segregation and Jim 
Crow practices in the United States, 
,and at the same time advance the 
Christian cause very much in China, 
Japan, or Africa. Along with convert- 
ing India we must also convert 

, Here is the most dynamic piece of 
"re-thinking missions" that has come 
to our attention in recent years. Here 
is the only hope of turning the world 
upside down again, New Testament 
fashion. The same Religious News Ser- 
vice release carried the announcement 
that one denomination during 1947 had 
sent out 545 missionaries to 73 different 

countries and islands. What a tremen- 
dous impact upon the world these men 
and women, were they of the caliber 
Dr. Stuber is calling for, would make! 
Our denominational programs, our 
cherished theologies and sectarian 
creeds have their place in missions but 
Dr. Stuber has put his finger on the 
great Thou Shalts of all Christian mis- 
sions which must come first. It was 
devotion to these all-embracing prin- 
ciples that gave us John R. Mott, 
Stanley Jones, and Robert E. Speer. 
Unless their mantles fall upon scores of 
other Christian leaders at home and 
abroad we can have no hope, to use 
Dr. Stuber's words, of winning "the 
nations of the world, including Amer- 
ica, to the Christian point of view and 
away from materialism and militar- 


In an editorial entitled, "Baptist 
Without Adjective or Epithet" and ap- 
pearing in the March issue of the 
Southwide Baptist Digest the writer 
observes how the most respected leaders 
of Southern Baptists have held differ- 
ent views of the millenium yet remain- 
ed "loving brothers in Christ and serv- 
ed together in united work and fellow- 
ship." "They were never guilty," he 
adds, "of making sarcastic flings at 
Premillenialists as 'fanatical cranks' 
nor on the other hand at Post Millenial- 
ists as 'semi-modernists'. They were 
each and all simply 'Baptists'." He 
then quotes this sentence from another 
Baptist editor: "Let us not make foot 
washing or mourner's bench, or the 
interpretation of prophecy about which 
godly and conservative men differ, a 
test of faith. To do so is to divide the 

For such statements as these we can 
all be grateful. They suggest that di- 
versity in union which is the mark of 
health in any growing, dynamic body. 
They are excellent statements as far 
as they go. Yet one wonders if either 



Christian Frontiers 

of the authors is prepared to accept the 
natural logic of what he has written. 
If Baptist fellowship cannot be limited 
to acceptance of any stereotyped inter- 
pretation of prophecy or insistence upon 
such practices as foot washing or the 
mourner's bench, what about interpre- 
tations of other portions of Scripture 
or other divergent practices in church 
worship? Open or closed communion, 
for one example? Desire for closer fel- 
lowship with Christians of other bodies, 
for another? A frank facing up to the 
social implications of Jesus' teachings, 
for another? Different views of the 
Resurrection or the meaning of atone- 
ment, for yet others? (On these matters 
many of our "godly and conservative 
men" differ). Baptists have taken care 
to remind the world that their only 
creed is the open Bible and the humble, 
"competent" reader. Such a creed, if 
truly practiced, would invite a healthy 
diversity of interpretation. Yet our 
tendency over the past years has been 
just the opposite of this. We have in 
many ways sought to steam roller our 
people into a uniform, mechanical 
orthodoxy and in so doing have for- 
feited our dearest ancestral heritage 
and lost the true genius of our Baptist 

It is in these areas too that we must 
remove every adjective and epithet 
from the great noun Baptist. With 
absolutely no intent to ridicule and 
without irreverence it must be added 
that such considerations as foot wash- 
ing and the mourner's bench are ir- 
relevances beside the great tasks that 
face our church today. We can only 
say to our fellow Baptist editors, 
"Thanks for coming this far. But please 
launch out farther into the deep with 


We must not allow ourselves to be 
taken in by the vociferous outbursts 
of indignation from our poll tax-sup- 
ported politicians at President Tru- 
man's Civil Rights Report. No con- 
temporary theologian has done more 


than Reinbold Niebuhr, about whom 
John C. Bennett writes so interestingly 
in this issue, in exposing the sham 
virtues and dark motives of respectable 
Christians. The political leaders whose 
saber rattling and rebel yells are "heard 
around the world" were given much 
stronger doses of civil and racial rights, 
and oftener, by President Roosevelt, yet 
for the most part they swallowed their 
medicine like good little boys. Why 
then this sudden explosion of outraged 
conscience and moral indignation? 
Where were their consciences before 
Truman? The answer is simple. Under 
Roosevelt they were dealing with a 
winner and they knew it. Under 
Roosevelt the prospect of losing patron-: 
age was sufficient to silence the slight- 
est stirring of such virtue in the most 
noble politician's breast. But under 
Truman, whose chances of re-nomina- 
tion have looked so slim, under Tru- 
man where every prospect of patronage; 
no longer pleases or silences, it is 11 
different story. So the politicians have 
grown suddenly virtuous. But let udj 
not fall for this now-you-have-it-now- 
you-don't-have-it type of virtue. The 
issue is not basically racial but political, 
If the recommendations of the Civil: 
Rights Report accord with the prin- 
ciples of the Constitution and the! 
teachings of Jesus Christ they are 
right now and always. 


What will be the be-all and end-all 
of the recent Supreme Court decision 
regarding the Champaign, Illinois 
school case no prophet will venture tc 
say. That it will have a far-reaching 
and even revolutionary effect there car 
be no doubt. There are repercussions 
on all sides. Editor John C. Slemp oi 
the Northern Baptist Convention has 
wired President Truman that the recal 
of Myron C. Taylor from the Vaticar 
has been made mandatory by the de- 
cision. Referring to the quotation ir 
Justice Black's majority opinion thai 
"neither a state nor the Federal Gov- 
ernment can, openly or secretly, partic 



ipate in the affairs of any religious 
organization or groups, and vice versa," 
Dr. Slemp described the ambassador- 
ship as "unconstitutional and un-Amer- 
ican." Press stories have been spring- 
ing up throughout the nation to the 
effect that this momentous decision 
regarding the separation of Church and 
State might result in the abolition of 
the Chaplain Corps. After all, this 
ministry is subsidized, and in a measure, 
controlled by the state. "Enthusiastic 
accord" with the decision was voiced 
by the Troy Methodist Conference 
meeting in Saratoga Springs. Dr. Duke 
McCall, executive secretary of the Sou- 
thern Baptist Convention, declared re- 
cently in a radio address that if se- 
cularization of our education continues 
we may soon witness law suits asking 
that the recognition of God be ex- 
purgated from the Declaration of In- 
dependence, Lincoln's Gettysburg Ad- 
dress and from the inscription on our 
coins. And, by way of startling variety, 
Dr. Gould Wickey of the United 
Lutheran Church, proposed that by the 
same decision the teaching of atheism 
be barred from all state supported 
schools. He has got something. Finally, 
groups opposing the provision in Senate 
Bill 472 allowing states to grant Federal 
funds to parochial schools have felt 
greatly strengthened by the decision. 

Men cannot with unmixed feelings 
accept the outlawry of religious in- 
struction in the public schools. The 
decision, as has been said, is momen- 
tous and what will come of it at last 
no man can tell. But it is undoubtedly 
Protestantism's superb opportunity. It 
is for us to exploit to the fullest the 
implication of this decision. The Court 
on the basis of the decision must re- 
verse itself on its bus transportation 
ruling. Political relations between 
Washington and the Vatican must be 
broken off immediately. The Chap- 
laincy must be given a complete over- 
hauling with genuine consideration 
given to the proposal that salaries and 
support be cared for by the churches. 
Subsidization by the Federal govern- 
ment of private and parochial schools, 

in whatever guise, must be banned 
once and forever. The tumult and 
shouting should not die until these 
things are brought to pass. Thank God 
for so fitting an organ as Protestants 
and other Americans United to spark 
and guide this protest. Protestants 
must not muff this opportunity. 



A year ago an editorial in the May 
issue of Christian Frontiers charged 
that "messengers then are at one time 
mere goodwill boys who cannot pass 
measures or adopt resolutions binding 
on the folks back home, and at another 
time true crusaders of the church, 
panoplied in authority. The 'messenger' 
system is a clever subterfuge exploited 
to work both ways. It is time for our 
people to recognize it for what it is, 
reject it on the grounds that it comes 
close to hypocrisy, and send men and 
women to our conventions with dele- 
gated authority, 'power to act'." 

Once again the "messengers" are set- 
ting then faces steadfastly to go to the 
Convention where they will hear re- 
ports, pass resolutions, allocate funds 
and conduct denominational affairs 
affecting 26,000 churches and six mil- 
lion Baptists. Yet all this will be done 
not by an assembly of delegates in 
conference or authoritative body but 
by thousands of loosely accredited 
"messengers" who merely "sit in coun- 
cil." Should some proposal not general- 
ly popular arise, it will be brusquely 
and virtuously dismissed on grounds 
that a convention of messengers is 
incompetent to pass on it. 

In Virginia the Religious Herald has 
recently made some pertinent remarks 
concerning the messenger system. After 
quoting the first constitution of the 
Southern Baptist Convention (adopted 
in 1845) that the "Convention shall con- 
sist of members who contribute funds, 
or are delegated [bold ours] by the 
religious bodies contributing funds," 
the Religious Herald asks how a con- 
vention whose membership today pos- 
sesses no delegated authority can hold 


Christian Frontiers 

a charter of incorporation by the State 
of Georgia. "Messengers" really im- 
plies an irrelated and irresponsible 
group, yet the group must have some 
standing as a responsible body within 
the civil laws of Georgia. 

More important than this just now, 
however, is the effect such non- 
competence of a mother convention has 
upon her children boards and agencies. 
The parental authority is weakened to 
such a state that adolescent problems 
arise in the family. Writes the Herald: 
"Another very important consideration 
arises. It has to do with the boards 
and institutions of the Convention. 
Suppose that we accept the interpreta- 
tion which has become popular in re- 
cent years that the Southern Baptist 
Convention is a loosely knit organiza- 
tion of messengers who represent no- 
body and who are, therefore, without 
authority. If that be the nature of the 
Convention, it must follow that the 
boards and institutions which are 
creations of the Convention have no 
body to which they are accountable. 
That is, in fact, about what has hap- 
pened, but we believe that it is a very 
unfortunate conditions both for the 
agencies and the denomination. Several 
months ago the executive secretary of 
a board boldly declared that the or- 
ganization which he served was ac- 
countable only to the churches. But 
how can the churches bring agencies 
to account unless these churches are in 
fact the parts of a parent body which 
holds authority continuously? Even the 
best agencies will show a tendency to 
act upon the assumption that they are 
independent. We encourage this tend- 
ency and make a troublesome issue if 
we say that the Convention does not 
exercise authority for the churches; 
for then the Convention becomes an 
irresponsible parent which brings other 
bodies into existence and immediately 
releases them from all control. In this 
unhealthy relation the agencies may 
assume too much authority." 
It is time, we repeat, to send men and 


women to our Convention with dele 
gated authority, power to act, and, we 
add, power to control. 

(From the Circulation Manager, 
Charles McConnell) 

With this the twentieth issue of 
Christian Frontiers most of our sub- 
scription contracts will have been ful- 
filled. As most of our readers know, 
these two years of publication have 
been difficult and somewhat uncertain. 
We have come to the point where a 
decision regarding the future of our 
publication must be made. The board 
of directors must rule on the fate off 
Christian Frontiers. 

Those who helped found this journal 
believed that it might make a place for 
itself among Baptists, and there have 
been many indications that it has 
established for itself a local habitation 
and a name. However, before we at- 
tempt to go on from here, the Editorial 
Board and the Board of Directors want 
the verdict of our readers. We want to 
know whether they should like to see 
Christian Frontiers continued. 

Please fill in the blank below and re- 
turn as soon as possible. We shall de- 
cide on this matter in the light of what 
you have to say. 

P. O. Box 508 
Chapel Hill, N. C. 

□ I would like to see Christian Frontiers 

□ If Christian Frontiers decides to con- 
tinue publication, I will be glad to 



Introduction to the Thought of Reinhold Niebuhr 


Introduction to the Thought of 
Reinhold Niebuhr 

By John C. Bennett 

REINHOLD NIEBUHR has a unique 
place in the American Church. He 
is undoubtedly our greatest theologian. 
This would be admitted by those who 
disagree with him. He is the one Christ- 
ian thinker who has won the attention 
of both intellectuals and labor circles 
outside the Church. He does not have 
a school of followers in the same way 
that Barth does in Europe, but he has 
influenced in important ways the 
thought of many of our theologians, 
especially those under fifty and an 
increasing number of our clergy look 
to him for guidance. His influence 
seems to have little to do with de- 
nominations but is quite well diffused 
within American Protestantism. The 
people who resist him most are the 
theological liberals whose minds were 
formed before the first world war, 
especially those whose conceptions of 
social responsibility are controlled by 
pacifist assumptions. It is not strange 
that Niebuhr is the only American 
theologian who is widely recognized in 
Europe because he has come to repre- 
sent more effectively than anyone else 
in America the theological revival that 
began in Europe under the stimulus 
of Karl Barth. But it is important to 
realize that Niebuhr is not a follower 
of Barth or of Brunner and that his 
thought, far from being a mere trans- 
plantation of European theology to 
American soil, is quite fresh and orig- 
inal, and cannot be understood against 
the background of either European or 
American experience alone. 

I shall first say something about 
Niebuhr's background and about his 
career. He is now in his middle fifties. 
He comes from middle western German 
stock, from a denomination that de- 
veloped as the result of the immigra- 
tion of Germans belonging to the Prus- 
sian Union church. There is therefore 

a strain of Lutheran piety in his back- 
ground without strict Lutheran con- 
fessionalism. His father was a minister 
in what was then called "The Evangel- 
ical Synod" (now united in the Evangel- 
ical and Reformed Church). He was 
trained in Yale Divinity School. At the 
time it was dominated by liberal the- 
ology and Niebuhr's early years in the 
ministry were guided chiefly by the 
liberal Social Gospel. It has been of 
immense importance for the develop- 
ment of his thought that he spent 
fifteen years as a pastor of a Church 
in Detroit where he came in close con- 
tact with the problems of American 
industrialism in the raw. Those years 
in the pastorate trained him to love 
and understand all kinds of people. 
They gave him the chance to become 
a truly great preacher. He has remain- 
ed that though today his sermons are 
usually addressed to university con- 
gregations and would be "over the 
heads" of the average congregation. 
His capacity to preach Biblical sermons 
that bring to people judgment and 
religious assurance together with the 
thrill and surprise that such illumina- 
tion on the concrete problems of the 
moment can be found in the Biblical 
message is still one of the great factors 
in his influence. People often claim that 
they do not understand him but they 
are still moved and fascinated by him 
whenever he preaches. In 1928 he be- 
came a professor at the Union The- 
ological Seminary in New York and 
ever since his main professional work 
has been teaching Christian Ethics in 
that institution. While teaching ethics 
he has always made ethics the gate- 
way to theology. 

Niebuhr's activities outside his reg- 
ular professional channels are astonish- 
ing in their variety. He has major re- 
sponsibility for the editing of two 


Christian Frontiers 

journals. One is a bi-weekly paper, 
Christianity and Crisis, that was 
founded shortly before the war to give 
expression to the convictions of those 
American Christians who rejected pac- 
ifism and believed that America had a 
responsibility to prevent the extension 
of the power of the Nazis. The other 
is a small quarterly, Christianity and 
Society, which is the organ of the Fel- 
lowship of Socialist Christians of which 
Niebuhr is the chairman and also the 
major prophet. He writes innumerable 
articles and book reviews for secular 
journals, especially for The Nation of 
which he is a contributing editor. 

Niebuhr takes an active part in poli- 
tics. Years ago he frequently ran for 
office as a nominee of the Socialist 
Party though never with any chance 
of election. He broke with that party 
chiefly because of its tendency toward 
a strange form of idealistic isolation- 
ism. For the past ten years or more he 
has usually been found among the 
critical left-wing supporters of Presi- 
dent Roosevelt. Today he is one of the 
chief leaders of what may be called 
the non-communist left. He took an 
active part in the foundation of the 
A. D. A. (Americans for Democratic 
Action). He has long fought the infil- 
tration of American communists and 
their sympathisers in labor unions and 
in progressive political organizations 
and he now supports a foreign policy 
of resistance to Russian expansion. In 
all matters connected with Russia his 
chief principle is that Russia should 
not be treated as a fixed point either 
of virtue or of evil. 

While he was working for American 
intervention against the Nazis he was 
at the same time a strong friend of the 
democratic forces in Germany. He has 
been a leader of a minority among 
American political progressives that has 
worked for a non-vindictive policy to- 
ward Germany, that has believed in the 
potentiality of democratic resistance to 
Hitler in Germany. His present plea is 
that the four powers that control Ger- 
many's fate should agree on a con- 
structive policy that will favor the 

growth of a healthy and democratic 
Germany. In the meantime he would 
have the western powers give support 
to the Christians and the Socialists in 
the struggle against Communist dom- 

In most of Niebuhr's political activ- 
ities he finds himself working closely 
with Jews for they are usually far 
more progressive politicly than Pro- 
testants. This has led him to identify 
himself more closely with the Jewish 
people than any other Protestant leader 
and he is trusted by them. He calls 
himself a Zionist and frequently de- 
fends the Zionist cause, though he is 
critical of contemporary Zionist tactics 
and propaganda. 

This is an amazing record of solid- 
arity with many great groups of people 
at the same time— with the American 
Labor movement, with the European 
victims of the Nazis, with the German 
people today, and with the Jews. From 
the days when he was a liberal cham- 
pion of the Social Gospel until now 
when he is the chief American repre- 
sentative of the revival of Reformation 
theology his activities have remained 
quite consistent, for he has always been 
controlled by the same passion for 
justice, by the same sense of solidarity 
with people who have had to struggle 
against some form of oppression. Peo- 
ple sometimes say that the revival of 
theology is a means of escape from re- 
sponsibility for social action and that 
Niebuhr's theology is defeatist in its 
effect but Niebuhr's own life is strong 
evidence against these contentions. 

While engaged in these many activ- 
ities in the Church and in politics 
Niebuhr has written a succession of 
books that have been outstanding in 
their influence. His greatest book is 
undoubtedly his two volumes on "The 
Nature and Destiny of Man." These 
volumes also give his developed the- 
ology more than any others. There are 
a few other books that are needed to 
supplement this major work. "Moral 
Man and Immoral Society" marks the 
beginning of his powerful polemics 
against American liberal theology. "An 

Introduction to the Thought of Reinhold Niebuhr 


Interpretation of Christian Ethics" is 
still his most thorough discussion of 
theological ethics. "The Children of 
Light and the Children of Darkness" 
is a brief book that shows his thought 
is related to contemporary social prob- 
lems. His two volumes of sermons: 
"Beyond Tragedy" and "Discerning the 
Signs of the Times" are perhaps the 
best of all his books to read first. 

Niebuhr's thought has always moved 
by means of the most drastic criticism 
of positions with which he has had at 
some time much personal sympathy. 
He early criticized the optimistic lib- 
eralism that in the 1920s was pervasive 
in America. The first instrument of 
criticism that he used was the Marxist 
view of history and of political strat- 
egy. He never became an adherent of 
Marxism as a total system but Marx- 
ism helped him to see the limitations 
of liberalism. But during his semi- 
Marxist period he began to study more 
deeply classical Christian theology and 
to see in a fresh way the relevance of 
the Biblical faith especially the faith 
of the prophets and of Paul. It would 
be difficult to say which came first in 
this process but the stimulus of Bar- 
thian theology combined with study 
of Augustine, Luther and Calvin and 
always in connection with the kind of 
Biblical interpretation that comes out 
constantly in his preaching, worked on 
his mind to produce quite a new the- 
ological orientation. He came to em- 
phasize quite early the illusions of 
Marxist utopianism as well as the 
illusions of liberalism. The Biblical and 
classical Christian faith became the 
perspective from which he looked at 
contemporary history. Always the prob- 
lem of man's historical existence has 
occupied the center of his thought. 
Personal piety and faith in God's tri- 
umph beyond history have been kept 
in the closest relation with the trage- 
dies, the moral conflicts, the perplex- 
ing decisions of the social order. 

Niebuhr's theology has two great 
emphases. The first is that the Christ- 
ian doctrine of man with its stress 
upon the universality and persistence 

of sin and yet with its high conception 
of man as made in God's image pro- 
vides the most necessary illumination 
about the human situation. It enables 
us to be prepared for the sin that 
appears on every level of human ad- 
vance. Niebuhr carries his criticism of 
human pride through to the limit, 
noticing, on the way, the pride of the 
men of power, the pride of philosophers 
and men of learning, the pride of re- 
volutionaries and of idealists, the pride 
of the righteous. He stresses the pre- 
tension in Catholic conceptions of the 
Church and the sin that is often hid- 
den in the fanaticism of the sectarian. 
He finally comes around to the sins of 
the theologians in the Reformation 
tradition who allow their very doctrine 
that man is a sinner to become "a 
vehicle of that very sin." This criticism 
of universal human pretension is not 
intended to be a fatalistic doctrine 
limiting the possibilities of growth in 
the Christian life but rather a constant 
warning, a call to repentence addressed 
especially to whatever contemporary 
group of righteous men may be most 
tempted to feel spiritually secure. Nie- 
buhr has great confidence in the pos- 
sibilities of human advance along many 
lines so long as men do not deceive 
themselves into thinking that their 
solution for any problem is final. 

The other main facet of Niebuhr's 
theology is his teaching of salvation by 
grace. The revelation of the forgiving 
love of God in the cross of Christ is 
the center of the gospel. Those who 
know this gospel may be released from 
the defensiveness that keeps most men 
from recognizing their own sins and 
they may also become able to show 
mercy to their opponents. Niebuhr's 
stress is always upon justification by 
faith because he believes that the con- 
tribution and the moral freedom that 
the man who knows that he is forgiven 
may have are the secret of moral 
growth, the means of breaking the 
vicious circles between nations or 
classes or races in history. His stress 
upon justification rather than sanctifi- 
cation is often interpreted as theolog- 


Christian Frontiers 

ical pessimism but it is dictated by 
fear of the self-deceptions in most 
sanctificationist doctrines whether 
Catholic or Calvinist or sectarian. His 
thought and his life are governed by 
confidence that when men are con- 
fronted with the gospel they may be 
changed and yet avoid moral preten- 
sion, and by hope that men may find 
what he calls "proximate" though never 
final solutions of their most fateful 
social problems. His polemics against 
the tendency to assume that absolute 
goals can be realized in history either 
by revolution or by education has 
caused his critics to ascribe to him a 
pessimism that he does not share. 

In the second volume of "The Nature 
and Destiny of Man" Niebuhr empha- 
sizes the conviction that the chief need 
in the Church is to discover a fresh 
synthesis of the insights of the Refor- 
mation and those of the Renaissance. 
His most distinctive contribution has 
been to bring the correction of the Re- 
formation to a culture that has been 
saturated with rationalistic and opti- 
mistic illusions that have their roots 
in the Renaissance but whenever there 
is an occasion for it, Niebuhr becomes a 
champion of reason, of tolerance, of the 
liberal spirit against obscurantist or 
narrowly authoritarian versions of Re- 
formation theology. When doctrines of 
revelation become absolutely exclusive 
he sees in them the corruption by hu- 
man pride that he finds in Catholic 
absolutizing of the Church. He is too 
much impressed by the love and in- 
tegrity that he often finds among those 
who work for justice and decency in 

society without any conscious depend- 
ence upon Christian faith to make 
sweeping negative generalizations about 
the secular world. In one place he says: 
"A 'hidden Christ' operates in history. 
And there is always the possibility that 
those who do not know the historical 
revelation may achieve a more genuine 
repentence and humility than those 
who do. If this is not kept in mind the 
Christian faith easily becomes a new 
vehicle of pride." 

He differs from those who regard 
revelation and faith as a closed circle 
to which there are no rational ap- 
proaches or of which there are no 
rational confirmations. On the con- 
trary he has himself been guided by 
the extent to which Christian faith' 
illumines the problems of men in his- 
tory, by its capacity to validate itself 
in experience, and his teaching and 
preaching are most often apologetic in 
the sense that they show why all of 
the substitutes for Christian faith break 
down in the face of the facts of con- 
temporary life and why only the Bib- 
lical faith is adequate to interpret the 
heights and depths of human existence, 
In an autobiographical article written 
in 1939 he said: "Whatever measure oi 
Christian faith I hold today is due tc 
the gradual exclusion of alternative be- 
liefs through world history." So manji 
of his contemporaries are at the point 
where they are dissatisfied with all oi 
these alternative beliefs that, whether 
or not they agree with his constructive 
position, they liste.n to him with eager- 

Formula For Friendship 

By Harold L. Trigg- 

A POLL of the "man on the street" 
would bring forth a copious vol- 
ume of opinions as to what the world 
needs today. Securing agreement on at 
least one principle is difficult but 
essential to the solution of the uni- 

versal problem of conflict in humar 
relations. "One World" implies the 
existence of a common trait quality 
an element of similarity which maj 
serve as a cohesive force in the inter- 
action of personalities. "One World' 

Formula For Friendship 


means One People" or its meaning has 
no significance. 

A similarity in one or more human 
physical traits has so far been of little 
value in producing world unity. It is 
oneness of mind, universal agreement 
on one or more ideals or principles of 
action which can make "One World" 
a reality. 

Current confusion in world affairs 
tends to emphasize the differences of 
men, and to obscure potential unity. 
This confusion is inevitable but tem- 
porary. It is the result of many factors. 
World War II uprooted millions from a 
relatively simple environment and ex- 
posed them to complexities for which 
they had no preparation. The world of 
1937 no longer exists. Distance formerly 
separated men; now, only time, and 
that is short. In 1919 several nations 
emerged from global war as world 
powers; in 1945, only two. They were 
united in war, but are divided in space. 
Age old methods of diplomacy are in- 
adequate because present day Russians 
have learned them. 

These and other factors produce con- 
fusion and results in unrest in every 
corner of the globe. Unrest in itself 
is not a cause for fear. It is the har- 
binger of impending change. It stim- 
ulates thinking. It forces the evaluation 
of cherished tradition. The frantic ef- 
forts of reaction to "hold the line" or 
return to the "good old days" is the 
best evidence of the need for and im- 
minence of change. 

Liberal pronouncements from nation- 
al and regional church bodies are 
! wholesome signs, but it is the local 
church that is closest to the marginal 
millions who seek personal and eco- 
nomic security, and is the logical leader 
in social progress. While the thinking 
of men is fluid the opportunity is great- 
est for leading them to a discovery of 
their oneness. This is the hour of hope. 
It may not come again to those who 
now have the power to utilize its poten- 

Democracy has temporarily hit a 
plateau. Fear retards the transition 
from the old to the new. The form of 

government that has provided more- 
opportunity for more men than any 
other hesitates to revise it thinking 
to include ALL MEN in its ideals of 
"life, liberty, and the pursuit of hap- 
piness." This period of fear and inde- 
cision has no justification in reality. 
If the "time is not ripe", government 
of the people, by the people, and for 
the people can die of "dry rot." 

The crust of emotionalized attitudes 
toward differences in race and color 
and creed hovers over democracy like 
a low cloud over an air field. All flights 
are grounded. Black and white and red 
and yellow, and Catholic, Protestant 
and Jew, and fascism, communism and 
frustrated democracy are the low ceil- 
ing which obscures the unity of men, 
and forces the decision to attain one- 
ness or succumb to destruction. 

In all the confusion certain facts 
stands out: 
The people of the world want peace. 
Peace is possible if man can agree on 
a simple formula. 

Democracy in practice is best fitted 
to apply the formula. Permanent 
change takes place in the minds of 
the people and is best embodied in 
the normal process of orderly pro- 
gress which democracy espouses. 
Western civilization is poised on the 
threshold of a new era. Immediate 
choice of direction— backward or for- 
ward — is imperative. 
When the Israelites received their 
twelve leaders on the return from a 
tour of reconnaissance in the land of 
Canaan which had been promised them 
for habitation, they listened for direc- 
tion. Two of the twelve said, "Let us 
go up at once, and possess it; for we 
are able to overcome it." But the other 
ten, although agreeing that it was a 
land of "milk and honey," said "it is a 
land that eateth up the inhabitants 
thereof" ... we saw the sons of Anak 
. . . and we were in our own sight as 
grasshoppers, and so we were in their 
sight." The people, in confusion and 
fright, wanted to return to Egypt, to 
the "good old days" of slavery, and 
for their lack of faith and courage 


Christian Frontiers 

-they were doomed to wander [another] 
forty years in the wilderness. 

The land of Canaan today is one in 
which all the material wealth of the 
world would be mobilized for use in 
improving the living of ALL MEN in 
spite of differences in race, creed, or 
color; a world in which there is a 
guarantee of: 

1. Freedom from violence and haz- 
ard to person from mob or dispen- 
sation of distorted justice. 

2. Freedom from artificial restrictions 
to personal movement in the nor- 
mal course of daily activity. 

3. Freedom to belong to the com- 
munity in which one lives, to par- 
ticipate in and give sense of direc- 
tion to its forward movement, to 
share the responsibility for and to 
contribute to the general welfare. 

4. Freedom to choose within the field 
of individual ability, to achieve 
occupational competence and sub- 
sequent gainful employment in 
work on the same basis of capacity 
for effective adjustment. 

5. Freedom to build a decent home 
for a healthy family in a whole- 
some neighborhood where the 
churches and schools and play- 
grounds provide adequately for the 
rounded growth of personality. 

Some leaders fear to "go up" and 
"possess" this new world. The "time 
is not ripe." There are accepted meas- 
ures of the maturity of vegetables and 
fruits but none of time, according to 
the ten who are "grasshoppers." 

The Hebrew children were granted a 
period of forty years to wander about 
and make up their minds. Today we 
have no choice. We move in and possess 
this new "One World," or we lose the 
power of movement. 

Economists and politicians have fail- 
ed to "deliver the goods." It is the 
Church that holds the decision with- 
in her grasp. An awakened church 
with new faith and courage; a church 
aggressive in the application of Chris- 
tian principles to human relations. 
Men do what the church approves 

or ignores. Religious sanctions are 
the strongest of all. 
The Church has had the formula 
for friendship since the first century 
B.C. The Master told his disciples 
"I have called you friends; for all the 
things that I have heard of my 
Father I have made known unto you." 
There are two elements in this state- 
ment which are plain even to the lay- 
man's understanding: 

1. Jesus taught these men what was 
necessary to elevate them to the 
level of friendship with Him. 

2. When they had learned what he 
knew of the fundamentals of liv- 
ing, he accepted them as Friends. 
He did not assume that they had 
no capacity for friendship. He did 
not try to buy their friendship. 
He did not force friendship upon 
them. He directed their growth 
into friendship, and when he saw 
that "the time was ripe," he ac- 
cepted them as Friends. He taught 
them the sacredness of human per- 
sonality, justice, the stewardship 
of material wealth, the life of ser- 
vice to other men, and love for 
one's neighbor. When they saw 
"eye to eye" with Him on these 
principles, they became no longer 
servants but His friends. 

It is the inescapable obligation of 
the strong to provide the situation in 
which the weak can grow in strength, 
and into cooperative friendship. The 
time to start is now. The place to start 
is in every local community. The starter 
is the church. 

The world powers of the 19th and 
20th centuries have had a hundred 
years to prepare "backward peoples" 
for friendship while they exploited the 
resources of "backward countries." 
These great powers have become little 
powers one by one until only two re- 
main, and the potential friendship of 
"backward peoples" is in many in- 
stances open hostility. To say that 
these "backward peoples" are not cap- 
able of growth into friendship, of 
learning the essentials of harmonious 
interaction is to place one's judgment 

Formula For Friendship 


above that of the God who made all 
men in his own image. 

The 20th century has experienced 
two global conflicts. To expect the 
producers of these conflicts to prevent 
a third one is to expect the impossible. 
They reap the benefits of differences. 
Almost two thousand years ago a Man 
helped men discover their likenesses, 
their similarities in thought and desire 
which made them friends of each 
other and His friends. His followers 

have the mandate to do for all what 
He did for a few, to assume aggressive 
leadership in the use of unconquerable 
spiritual power for the building of a 
world community in which all men see 
"eye to eye" on the fundamentals of 
peaceful living, and direct their action 
in channels which produce it. 

To prepare all men for friendship 
and then to accept them as friends is 
the age old formula for ONE PEOPLE 

Baptists In California* 

By William W. Barnes 

THE article by Dr. W. Earle Smith 
in the June number of Christian 

Frontiers, entitled "Our Southern Bap- 
tist Friends," has been read with in- 
terest. A further word should be said 
supplementary to that article. I shall 
try to discuss the matter as objectively 
and dispassionately as possible. Some 
twenty-five years ago some of my stu- 
dents from year to year discussed with 
me their plans to go north, northwest 
or west. Some who had already gone 
north wrote me about the tendencies 
toward the Southern Convention aris- 
ing in then communities. Invariably I 
advised these young men to align them- 
selves with the organized work of the 
Northern Convention and to carry on 
with the evangelistic fervor and vigor 
characteristic of pastors in the South. 
If they thought they saw any digres- 
sions from fundamental Baptist teach- 
ings and practices, I advised them to 
preach the New Testament teachings 
with firmness and in love. Some took 

Editor's note: Readers are referred, for 
a fuller background to this discussion 
to the article "Our Southern Baptist 
Friends" by W. Earle Smith (Christian 
Frontiers, June, '47.) Dr. Barnes wishes 
his discussion to be considered more 
| as a supplement than a reply to Dr. 
Smith's article. 

my advice and some did not, as was 
to be expected. I have said this that 
my own personal attitude may be 

In order to understand in a measure 
the relations between Northern and 
Southern Baptists in California or else- 
where, it is necessary to go beyond 
"some 25 or 30 years ago," or even be- 
yond the meeting of Northern Bap- 
tists in Oklahoma City (1908) when 
the Northern Convention was formed. 

It is necessary, too, to take a look at 
the geographical area included in the 
constitution of the two conventions. 
The Home Mission Society from its 
beginning (1832) took for its motto 
North America for Christ. In the con- 
stitution of the Southern Convention 
from the beginning (1845) the United 
States has been the territory from 
which churches and other Baptist 
bodies have been invited to send mes- 
sengers. When the Northern Conven- 
tion was formed (1908) its constitution, 
also, included the United States. In 
discussing the relations between North- 
ern and Southern Baptists in Cali- 
fornia or elsewhere it is necessary to 
discuss the relations of Southern Bap- 
tists with the Home Mission Society up 
to 1908 and with the Home Mission 
Society as the agency of the Northern 
Convention since 1908. 


Christian Frontiers 

The Home Mission Society had no 
work in the South (work in Texas for 
a short time excepted) from 1845 to 
the period of the War Between the 
States. During that struggle the So- 
ciety re-entered the South by way of 
the military situation. It began work 
in Virginia among the refugee Negroes 
and extended its work with the advance 
of the northern armies until January, 
1864, when the Society secured from 
the War Department, through Senator 
Harris of New York, authority to take 
possession of "all houses of worship be- 
longing to the Baptist Churches South 
in which a loyal minister of said church 
does not now officiate." The military 
order goes on to say, "The American 
Baptist Home Mission Society enjoys 
the confidence of this Department and 
no doubt is entertained that all min- 
isters that may be appointed by it will 
be entirely loyal. You are expected to 
give it all aid, countenance and sup- 
port practicable in the execution of its 
important mission." The Society ap- 
pointed Rev. J. W. Parker of Boston to 
have supervision over this work in the 
South. Pastoral appointments were 
made by Dr. Parker in Baton Rouge, 
Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Knoxville, 
Nashville, Island Number 10, and Mem- 
phis. Other representatives of the So- 
ciety were in Virginia, North Carolina, 
South Carolina, Florida, and Missis- 
sippi. The ultimate results of this "in- 
vasion" of the South by the Home 
Mission Society were not all bad. Many 
church buildings were to be saved for 
the Baptists. Preachers of other de- 
nominations from the north had begun 
to use some of these buildings. When 
the agents of the Home Mission So- 
ciety proved to the military that build- 
ings had been used by Baptist congre- 
gations the other preachers were forced 
to release them to the appointees of 
the Home Mission Society. After the 
war Southern Baptist congregations 
could regain their buildings, if and 
when they could show title. It re- 
quired about three years to prove title 
to the Coliseum Church of New Or- 

After the war the South was pros- 
trate. The Home Mission Society, fol- 
lowing its motto, moved in. It did great 
work among whites and blacks. In 
1868 the Southern Convention proposed 
that the Home Mission Society work 
through the organized agencies of the 
Convention. The Society definitely re- 
fused. It worked through state organ- 
izations. There is no record of the Home 
Mission Society's taking the initiative, 
but when funds were available the 
Society answered all requests from any 
state group in the South. The Southern 
Convention voted in 1879 that it would 
continue its separate existence and 
work. The Society at once made plans 
for a larger program for the South. In 
1880 the Society reported that the work 
with the Negro bodies was expanding 
and "quite gratifying are indications 
of the collective cooperation in a sim- 
ilar character on the part of white 
brethren in some of the southern 
states." By July 1, 1882, when Dr. 
Tichenor became Secretary of the Home 
Mission Board of the Southern Con- 
vention, all territory west of the Missis- 
sippi had been lost to the Board. I 
have a copy of a contract between the 
Society and the Baptist State Conven- 
tion of Texas, the East Texas Baptist 
Convention, and the Arkansas Baptist 
Convention. In 1881 the Board of the 
Home Mission Society reported "other 
requests have been made by conven- 
tions both white and colored in the 
South . . . but they came when the 
finances of the Society would not war- 
rant further enlargement and so for 
the time were declined. So far as pos- 
sible the Society has extended its hand 
to all asking help, knowing no lines 
of separation, anxious only that weak 
interests should be strengthened and 
destitute fields be cultivated all over 
this continent." 

The relations between Northern and 
Southern Baptists need to be studied 
from the point of view of different 
ideologies as well as from the point of 
view of geography. There have been 
two distinct methods of work among 
English-speaking Baptists. For the lack 

Baptists in California 


of an established nomenclature I call 
them the society method and the con- 
vention method. The society method 
is carried on by a group of individuals 
representing their own contributions or 
the contributions of churches and other 
Baptist bodies to a specific objective — 
foreign missions, home missions, edu- 
cation, or whatever it may be. Churches 
as such have no official connection with 
the society. The convention method 
calls for a body, usually called a Con- 
vention, that is all-comprehensive in 
its scope, having different boards to 
conduct the different lines of work, and 
considered to be based ultimately upon 
the churches. From Philadelphia north- 
ward the society ideology predominated 
in the formative years of Baptist work 
in America. South of Philadelphia the 
convention ideology was strong (see 
my article in the May number of 
Christian Frontiers). That sentiment 
was the fundamental cause of the for- 
mation of the Southern Baptist Con- 
vention. Slavery was the occasion (see 
my article, Why Was the Southern 
Baptist Convention Formed?, in the 
Review and Expositor, January, 1944). 

Dr. Tichenor, the great Baptist states- 
man, planned his strategy to regain 
lost territory and enter into new areas. 
His program was based on the denom- 
inational ideology in the constitution 
of the Southern Baptist Convention. 
That ideology inherent from the be- 
ginning (1845) came to the fore under 
Dr. Tichenor's leadership. For the first 
half-century the Southern Convention 
was often called the Southern Mission- 
ary Convention. By 1895 the Convention 
was being recognized as an all-compre- 
hensive denominational body. By 1893 
the Home Board, under Dr. Tichenor's 
leadership, had regained all lost terri- 
tory. The Home Mission Society had 
been very active in the South from 
1882 to 1896 in assisting churches to 
build. Southern leaders became alarm- 
ed. If the northern Society met the 
mission needs in the southern states, 
fostering old churches and establish- 
ing new ones, and carrying on Sunday 
School work (Publication Society), 

founding schools and supplying litera- 
ture, within a generation most of the 
southern churches would be in intimate 
alignment with the north. Dr. E. T. 
Winkler, pastor of the First Church, 
Charleston, South Carolina, published 
an article in 1882 which was widely 
copied. Dr. Moorehouse, Secretary of 
the Home Mission Society, answered 
Dr. Winkler in the Home Mission 
Monthly, October, 1882. Dr. Moorehouse 
concluded his article, "Ours is not the 
'Northern Society,' it is the American 
Society; its work prosecuted in every 
state and territory, its receipts coming 
from all parts of the country; its aim 
being not to make conquests of domain 
for the sake of the Society, but to make 
gracious conquests for Christ. And to 
this work ... we summon and welcome 
with us all who with us believe that 
what should be done we must attempt 
to do." In the late 1880's the Southern 
Convention made overtures to the Home 
Mission Society for consultation about 
the situation. Not until 1894, after the 
Home Board had regained lost terri- 
tory, did the Home Mission Society 
agree to discuss the situation with the 
Home Board. September 12, 1894, a 
conference was held at Fortress Mon- 
roe, Virginia. After full, free, frank and 
fraternal discussion the representatives 
of the Home Mission Society and of the 
Southern Convention came to an agree- 
ment on a program. 

It thus may be seen that historically • 
and geographically Baptists in the 
South and in the North have looked 
upon the United States as their field 
of labor. Varying conditions, economic 
and otherwise, have determined how 
far afield the missionaries of each 
group have gone. There was misunder- 
standing and friction in the thirty 
years from the War to 1895. Ultimately 
wise and Christian counsels prevailed. 
Those of us in the South today can 
look back and see that the work of the 
Home Mission Society in the South in 
the post-war period was a God-send 
to whites and blacks. It is to be hoped 
and expected that in the extending 
fields in the far west, in spite of fric- 


Christian Frontiers 

tion that may normally come out of 
human nature, good may come and the 
Kingdom extended. There is no reason 
why a Baptist church may not affiliate 
with one or both of the conventions. 
Some of the churches in Missouri are 
affiliated with both conventions. All of 
the churches in the District of Colum- 
bia, through the Convention of the 
District, are aligned with the north and 
with the south. The plan seems to work 
well. If there are situations in California 

not being met and the Home Mission 
Board can assist the situation, bless- 
ings on them. If the work of the Home 
Mission Society, which has a long and 
honorable record in all of the far west, 
continues to enlarge, praise be to the 
leadership of God's Spirit. May it be. 
hoped that each group will stimulate 
the other to good works on that Pacific 
coast, where, from all reports that 
come to me, the New Testament re- 
ligion needs to be pressed. Selah. 

Book Review 

John, the Universal Gospel, 

Chester Warren Quimby, 

The Macmillan Company, New York, 

1947, pp. 224, $2.75. 

Professor Chester Warren Quimby 
presents in his John, the Universal 
Gospel a non-technical interpretation 
of the Fourth Gospel. Though possessed 
of a strong devotional element, it is 
scholarly and thorough. Furthermore, 
it has a strong homiletical slant and 
offers many valuable helps to that 
body of men who must ever be alert 
for ideas that will "preach." It holds 
strongly, on the one hand, to liberal 
critical opinion, and on the other, to a 
glowing evangelical faith. 

The author believes that John uni- 
versalized the gospel in a way that far 
exceeds the presentation in the Syn- 
optics and in Paul. John, he thinks, 
"interpreted the life and teachings of 
the Palestinian Jesus in terms of every- 
man's experience and life through all 
time." John's heavy use of such terms 
as water, bread, light, life, et cetera, 
is a case in point. 

The book falls into two main divi- 
sions with a sort of epilogue. The first 
division deals with background mate- 
rial. Ephesus, as the possible scene of 
John's writing, is described in interest- 
ing detail. John's purpose and his pe- 
culiarities of style and point of view 
are treated. Much is made of the con- 
troversies in which the Christians en- 
gaged toward the end of the first cen- 
tury with the Jews and with the fol- 

lowers of the Baptist. The questions 
of authority and historicity are treated 
with forthrightness and clarity. There 
is acceptance of the view that John 
used incidents of the life of Jesus as 
allegories for homiletical elaboration. 
In fact, the author thinks that the 
major portion of the Gospel may be 
notes from some of John's sermons. 

The second division consists of the 
exposition of the Gospel in twenty-five 
brief sections. It will have an appeal to 
many, whether they accept Professor 
Quimby's critical views or not. Such 
passages as "Jesus, the Bread," "Jesus, 
the Light of the World," and many an- 
other, give to the book a high general 

The closing chapters of the book are 
grouped under the title "Varia." Here, 
besides a chapter on John for the 
atomic age and a dictionary of his 
terms, is an extended list of themes 
and titles intended as a special aid to 
the minister. 

The reviewer finds so many things 
to appreciate in this book that criticism 
seems gratuitous, but he cannot fail to 
point out that the author seems at 
times to belabor too heavily his idea 
of John's universalizations, using the 
insignificant along with the significant. 
The author does not seem to allow 
sufficiently for interpretations different 
from his own. He neglects entirely to 
furnish even a brief bibliography or an 
index. But this book will reward in good 
measure careful reading. 




University of North Carolina 

Chapel Hill, N. C. 


In This Issue: 




BAPTISTS Adiel J. Moncrief 




_ — __,™ 

Publication of the Baptist Book Club, Incorporated 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 

Vol II SEPTEMBER, 1948 No. 11 


William W. Finlator, Editor-in-Chief 
Marjorie E. Moore, Advisory Editor Almonte C. Howell, Book Editor 

J. O. Bailey, Managing Editor Sara Lowkey, Poetry Editor 


W. O. Carver, Louisville, Ky. j. c. Wilkinson, Athens, Ga. 

H. B. Cross, Nashville, Tenn. Swan Hayworth, Vicksburg, Miss. 

George B. Cutten, Chapel Hill, N. C. Withrow T. Holland, Haynesville, La, 

J. M. Dawson, Washington, D. C. Adiel J. Moncrief, St. Joseph, Mo. 

Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. Blake Smith, Austin, Texas 

Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C. Hubert R. Howard, Jr., Tulsa, Okla. 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 
Fred B. Helms r. k. Redwine 

Carl Lee Ousley John McGinnis 

A. C. McCall 



Editorials 269 j 

Who's Who In This Issue 272: 

A Layman Attends His First Convention Robert C. Ray.... 273 

Ecumenicity and Southern Baptists Adiel J. Moncrief 274 

My Manifesto W. R. Cullom ... 276 

The Problem of Relationship in the Counseling Process Robert H. Ayers 279 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July arid August) by the Baptist Book 
Club, a non-profit fellowship of ministers and laymen. Address all correspondence to 
Box 508, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 by the Baptist Book Club. Entered 
as second class matter February 6, 1947 at the post office at Chapel Hill, N. C. under the 
Act of March 3, 1879. Subscription price, two dollars a year; twenty-five cents a copy. 
Printed by The Graphic Press, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina. 



It is no secret that the editorial staff 
and a number of supporters went to the 
Memphis Convention with a feeling of 
resignation concerning the fate of 
Christian Frontiers. We were ready to 
throw in the sponge. We imagined that 
our journal had had its day and would 
cease to be, and we were prepared to 
give it a decent funeral. No one was 
more surprised than we at the results 
of two meetings of the friends of 
Christian Frontiers which gave it such 
new lease on life as to make us wonder 
at the phoenix-like qualities of sur- 
vival in Christian Frontiers. Obviously, 
and to an extent exceeding our fondest 
hopes, the journal had so laid hold on 
the hearts of ministers and laymen that 
they were determined it must not die. 
During the luncheon and breakfast 
meetings they took matters in their 
own hands and laid plans to raise funds 
to guarantee publication for two years. 
Their determination to increase sub- 
scriptions was equally fervent. No one 
could deny that the meetings were 

Thus Christian Frontiers still lives 
and thus its control passes from the 
Baptist Book Club of North Carolina 
to the men and women of the Southern 
Baptist Convention. That is as it should 
be. Here is a journal published and 
maintained by Southern Baptists yet 
unfettered by any denominational tie. 
Here is a journal not for "modernists," 
"liberals," or even "progressives," but 
for men and women within the South- 
ern Baptist Convention who, while 
deeply loyal to their denomination, yet 
reserve for themselves the sacred right 
and duty of self-criticism and the 
preservation of a free conscience. And 
they know from history that they must 
express these truths with force and 
conviction or lose them. 


Reinhold Niebuhr has somewhere said 
in effect that the man who pronounces 

"Thus saith the Lord" is either a char- 
latan, a fool, or a prophet. The percent- 
age against his being a prophet, Dr. 
Niebuhr adds, is great. It is a fear- 
some thing to speak for God whether 
it be in the form of papal infallibility, 
parish bigotry, or the identification of 
any economic or political system with 
God's will. A great handicap facing 
American Christians at Amsterdam 
this month is the askance with which 
they will be regarded by certain Euro- 
pean Christians who believe we use our 
Christianity as a facade for power in- 
terests back home in the last remaining 
bulwark of capitalism. And in Hot 
Springs, Arkansas, where funds are 
being received from white Baptists to 
establish a National Negro Baptist 
Hospital, one of the local pastors is 
quoted as saying, "This is the Christian 
answer to the racial problem of the 
South." We know whom we have be- 
lieved, we know the power of His trans- 
forming love, we know His judgment 
upon our unrepentent lives, and we 
know that in Him we have passed from 
death to life. But can we know that 
free enterprise, however we may love it, 
is an ally to Christianity or synonym 
for it? Can we know that the perpetu- 
ation of racial segregation even in so 
charitable a medium as a hospital, is 
"the Christian answer"? Can we at any 
time, confronted with the pressing is- 
sues of the hour, say, "This is the way, 
walk ye in it," and know we have 
spoken for God? Let us beware. Even 
the beloved disciple, carried away for 
the moment in his fervent devotion, was 
rebuked for presuming to call down fire 
in God's name upon a hostile com- 


While this editorial is being written 
delegates from the United States to the 
World Council of Churches are en route 
to Amsterdam. Before it goes to press 
these delegates will have gathered with 
men and women from 143 Christian 
Communions representing 43 nations to 



Christian Frontiers 

affirm their deepest convictions of one 
Lord, one faith, and one baptism. And 
by the time it is being read the dele- 
gates will have left an Amsterdam 
whose very setting is symbolic of the 
cleavage between Soviet Russia and 
the Western Powers and where, as in 
Madras ten years ago, Christians alone, 
transcending all national and racial 
barriers, will have met in a darkening 
world to attest the unity of their faith, 
the universality of their gospel, and the 
brotherhood of all men under God. 

"Christianity," writes Dr. Kenneth 
Scott Latourette in The Christian Out- 
look, "is more widely spread geograph- 
ically, more deeply rooted among more 
peoples, and more influential in the 
total life of mankind than ever before. 
Moreover, in an age when mankind, if 
it would escape self-destruction, must 
learn to cooperate on a global scale, 
but when nations have been pulling 
apart, Christians have been coming to- 
gether and are beginning to build a 
world-wide fellowship which transcends 
national and even warring lines." This 
in part is expressive of the spirit that 
informs and undergirds the World 

Christianity was not given us simply 
to hold the world together, but Chris- 
tians realize that without it the world 
will fall apart. And they know that 
before they can bring the world its 
redeeming message of universal love 
and brotherhood they themselves must 
first draw nigh together in charity, 
humility, and unity. Yet here in the 
United States two of the strongest com- 
munions, the Roman Catholics and the 
Southern Baptists, largely for the same 
reason, have chosen to have nothing 
to do with Amsterdam, the former ig- 
noring it completely and the latter 
refusing to authorize even an unoffi- 
cial observer of its sessions.* 

Time marches on, and while the di- 
vided body of Christ struggles for its 
spiritual re-union, two segments, each 
claiming on authority to be the New 
Testament Church, take the side lines 
of indifference and hostility. 

* Note: The Vatican is sending "unofficial" 
observers to Amsterdam. 


There is an unexplored tract within 
our Southern Baptist ecclesiasticism, 
Perhaps it might better be called no- 
man's land, for it is really a terrain 
we dare not enter not because of its 
unknown wilderness, but because oi 
its known dangers. And though we hold 
back and will not go in and possess it; 
yet we cannot put the remembrance of 
it out of our minds or keep it from 
plaguing our consciences. We know that 
our unwillingness to act has made it 
a scandal to our denomination, but we 
also know of the frightful consequences | 
that await our action. It is the no-man's 
land of ordination to the ministry. 

It is not the intent of this editorial 
to rush in where angels have feared to 
tread. The exuberance and self-confl-i 
dence with which we have on other 
occasions expressed an opinion or stated 
a proposition is absent here, and our 
mood is rather one of caution and hu- 
mility. We know what the score is, but 
we do not know the answers! The little 
Baptist Church in the mountains with 
six ordained ministers, each vying with 
the others for a pastorate — perhaps 
even for this church — is a sad but 
natural result of our wide-open practice 
of ordination. But there are denom- 
inations with rigid requirements and 
qualifications for their clergy which 
report today a serious shortage of min- 
isters and are actually recruiting re- 
placements elsewhere. Are they any 
better off? Again, we are frequently 
reminded that the majority of our 
ministers are not college bred and only 
a small percentage are seminary train- 
ed. Yet we observe that the communions 
with the uniformly educated clergy have 
somehow forfeited their appeal to the 
common people and. restricted their 
ministry, with notable exceptions, to the 
intellectual and economic elite. Or, once 
more, the licensing and ordaining of 
untutored men, we are told, makes for 
theologically illiterate and often demo- 
gogic leadership among our people, and 
who can deny it? Yet Baptists know 
from the cruel pages of history, as per- 
haps no other Protestant sect can know, 
the sufferings and abuses that arise 



rom a self-contained and self-perpet- 
lating clericalism. 

All of this adds up to a dilemma. The 
»ood we would do we cannot do for fear 
»f the evil that would come of our 
»ood intentions. And when we consider 
;hat any attempt to set up ordination 
aoards to make requirements for quali- 
fications of candidates and pass on 
;hem would be flagrant denial of the 

ssence of our freedom. The paralysis 
)f inaction is complete. Yet we must not 
md we shall not remain frustrated by 
;he dilemma. Our heart and our flesh 
jry out in protest when we participate 
in the ordaining of a man with or per- 
haps without a high-school diploma in 
a day when the advantages of educa- 
tion are provided alike for city, hamlet, 
and rural areas and the standard of 
learning is everywhere being raised 
among our people. Nor in an age of 
biblical and theological illiteracy can 
we be content to send our pulpits men 
'ill equipped to match this darkness with 
bhe light and life of the Word. 

So we offer the pages of this journal 
to our readers as a forum for discussion 
Df this matter. Having confessed our 
own inadequacy and bewilderment we 
invite the thinking of others in the 
belief that true wisdom will be found 
in the symposium. Especially do we 
urge the participation of our laymen, 
whose insight is of tremendous im- 
portance. We would like to publish cor- 
respondence on this topic in the next 


The convention at Memphis, deplored 
my many ministers and laymen, may 
prove a blessing in disguise in that it 
dramatized at least two weaknesses in 
our recent conventions: (1) the syno- 
nymity of messengers and non-mes- 
sengers and (2) the unnecessarily large 
number of messengers. Hitherto Chris- 
tian Frontiers has commented on the 
insincerity and inadequacy of the prac- 
tice of sending "messengers" rather 
bhan delegates to our conventions, but 
just now we are concerned with the 
need for reform within the existing 

frame-work, and the Memphis Conven- 
tion has made urgent that need in two 

Let us consider first the practical 
fusion of messengers and non-messen- 
gers. Since it is necessary under the 
present set-up for our convention to 
be held in large cities it is to be expected 
that a sizable part of the audiences 
will come as non- messengers (since 
each church is limited in its number 
of messengers) from the churches of 
the cities and their environs. It is in- 
evitable that this element will reflect 
the mood and outlook of its area. And 
such was the case at Memphis. Hun- 
dreds of messengers left this convention 
feeling that something basically un- 
democratic had held sway from the 
first day. They needed no outsider to 
remind them that the shouting of 
Baptist democracy was in danger of 
becoming the tumult of mass psychol- 
ogy at the mercy of skilled platform 
clergymen. To say this is not to imply 
that the will of the majority was not 
accomplished at Memphis. The will of 
the majority prevailed there unmis- 
takably. But it is to question the char- 
acter, maneuverability and validity of 
that majority. 

Upon the occasion of election of offi- 
cers, for example, the outgoing presi- 
dent, albeit with grace and good-natur- 
edly, found it necessary to caution the 
dangerously overcrowded assembly that 
only registered and fully accredited 
messengers could vote. To think that 
the caution was unnecessary is naive; 
to assume that it was strictly observed 
is charitable. But whatever may have 
been the outcome, the major error lay 
in permitting a situation where ballots 
may at any time possibly fall into 
hands of non-messengers. And there 
is the other consideration, entirely apart 
from the election, of applause, boos, 
and catcalls, which never fail to carry 
weight. If non-messengers wish to ex- 
press their approval or disapproval 
after the manner of all conventions 
they should be granted this privilege. 
But it should be known that it is they 
doing the applauding or booing. In other 
words non-messengers should be seg- 


Christian Frontiers 

regated, restricted to galleries and bal- 
conies, during the sessions, where they 
should be heartily welcomed, allowed 
mass self-expression, and denied the 
suffrage. Common sense, not to men- 
tion an elemental sense of fairness, 
dictates that such measures must be 
taken at once if democracy and order- 
liness are to be preserved at our con- 

In the second place the matter of the 
number of messengers needs a thor- 
ough canvassing. Pastors have tradi- 
tionally looked forward to the conven- 
tions as a combination of vacation with 
expenses paid and class re-union. For 
most of them the agenda has been im- 
portant, of course, but not all-impor- 
tant. The main thing has been to forget 
not the annual assembling of themselves 
together. But with the growth and ex- 
pansion of Southern Baptists the as- 
sembling together has taken on the 
proportions of a Passover pilgrimage 
of the diaspora. No Southern city can 
offer adequate hotel accommodations 
even if wives were left at home and 
W.M.U. ladies did not decide to stay 
over! It may look good as a "show of 
power" to announce that ten thousand 
messengers are in attendance, but ten 
thousand messengers, meeting in an 
auditorium built to accommodate five 
thousand people, and milling in and out 
in endless streams, offer a poor assur- 
ance of democracy in action. Under such 
conditions the wire-pulling, silent ma- 
nipulation, and hotel-room strategy are 
inevitable, and open and extended de- 
bate is difficult. 

Clearly the number of messengers 
must be limited. If a half thousand 
citizens can represent 140 million Amer- 
icans in our National Legislature, surely 

two or three thousand messengers can 
look after the denominational interests 
of 6 or 7 million Baptists. One thousand 
would be better. The messengers might 
be chosen not by the churches on the 
old membership quota, but by the asso- 
ciations with each association rather 
than each church allotted at least one 
messenger, and so on. Each messenger 
would be strictly and solemnly charged 
by the association to attend all sessions, 
enter into debates, serve on committees 
and cast votes (roll call votes, too) and 1 
return to give an account of his stew- 
ardship, and so uphold the dignity and 
preserve the tradition of a responsible 
deliberative body. There are other and 
perhaps much better means of choos- 
ing the messengers, but some acceptable 
method must be settled on now. 

But what about the rollicking annual : 
demonstrations that have been passing 
for deliberative bodies? We need not, 
indeed we ought not, to dispose of them. 
Mass gatherings play an indispensable 
part in our religious life, and we should 
not leave all the pageantry to Roman. 
Catholics. Let us then for the sheer 
spiritual exhilaration and moral re-in- 
forcement they bring have the annual 
convention where all are welcomed and 
the middle wall of partition between 
messengers and non-messengers will! 
never have the first brick laid. And in 
vast halls, or preferably stadia, let us 
hear the inspirational addresses, lift 
up our ten thousand times ten thousand 
voices in praise and in other ways 
demonstrate the numerical strength 1 
and spiritual vitality of our faith — and 
all this sans debate, sans committees, 
sans resolutions, and sans voting. And 
this is written not lightly but in dead 
seriousness, for God does come in Pente- 
costal power to such throngs. 


ROBERT C. RAY, an industrialist, is a member of the First Baptist Church, 

Franklin, Virginia. 
ADIEL J. MONCRIEF, Pastor, the First Baptist Church, St. Joseph, Missouri, was 

formerly a distinguished Canadian Baptist, Pastor, Walmer Road Baptist 

Church, Toronto. 
W. R. CULLOM, Professor Emeritus at Wake Forest College, was formerly Head | 

of the Department of Religion there. 
ROBERT If. AYERS is the Baptist State Student Secretary of South Carolina. 

A Layman Attends His First 

By Robert C. Ray 

When I was asked to write an article 
on the layman's impression of the 
Memphis meeting of the Southern Bap- 
tist Convention, I felt that I must 
immediately modify the title to read 
one layman's impression of the Mem- 
phis Convention — his first convention. 

Quite naturally I went to my first 
convention with a few qualms. My 
religion is a thing that I hesitate to 
have discussed by several thousand fel- 
low Baptists, even if it is their own 
opinions that they are expressing and 
I do not have to agree. I was particu- 
larly glad I did not have to agree after 
hearing the Convention speak its mind 
on several controversial matters. 

The Memphis Convention impressed 
me as a tremendously large and un* 
wieldy thing that could get completely^ 
out of hand quite easily unless skill- 
fully and competently led. And Dr. 
Newton did just that. But even his skill- 
ful handling could not keep the Con- 
vention from taking several steps that 
I think unwise. 

The turning down of Dr. Sadler as an 
observer at the World Council of 
Churches meeting this summer was, 
I think, most unwise. This is certainly 
no time for us to turn our backs on 
any possible chance of world peace, 
and I think that the World Council 
certainly offers a good try at it. I can't 
understand the isolationist viewpoint 
expressed by many at the Convention. 
Jesus said, "For he that is not against 
us is for us," and following this line of 
thought I do not think that we should 
take a definite stand against the World 

I also think that the admittance of 
Kansas into the Southern Convention 
was not proper. After hearing as much 
of the argument as possible, I think 
that the practice is bad of taking states 
from the Northern Convention and 

adding them to the Southern Conven- 
tion, for it is much too large anyway. 

The size of the convention should be 
controlled more carefully. With the con- 
vention growing as it is, it is my opin- 
ion that only certified messengers 
should be allowed in the Convention 
Hall. It is too easy for a large number 
of visitors to sway the opinion of the 
Convention by clapping or otherwise 
manifesting their opinion. I think that 
admission to the Convention Hail should 
be by Messenger Badge only. 

But enough of these few bad things 
and on to the more favorable impres- 
sions. The singing was glorious. I had 
been told that the singing was one of 
the outstanding thrills of the conven- 
tion, and it surpassed even my expec- 
tations. When the Brothers and Sisters 
really opened up on some of the old 
hymns it brought tears to the eyes and 
joy to the heart. 

The Foreign Missions Night was, I 
think, the most inspiring part of the 
Convention. I wish that every Southern 
Baptist could have heard those people 
who have dedicated their lives to carry- 
ing the gospel to all the world. Then 
at the end of the service, when all those 
who wanted to dedicate their lives to 
such an undertaking were asked to 
come to the front of the auditorium, 
and over a hundred went forward, I saw 
that their story had not been told in 

Dr. C. Oscar Johnson's magnificent 
plea for unification of all the Baptists 
made a fitting close to my last session 
of the Convention. We are truly for- 
tunate in having such a great man as 
one of us, and his message was one 
of the keynotes of the Convention to 
me. What a great band we Baptists 
are, a multitude enlisted in the work 
of God. What a wonderful work we 
can do, united in spirit and aim. 


Ecumenicity and Southern Baptists 

By Adiel J. Moncrief 

Dr. Robert A. Ashworth, writing on 
the position of Baptists with reference 
to the general movement which is seek- 
ing the union of Protestant Christen- 
dom, expressed the view of most 
American Baptists, I believe, when he 
declared: "If by 'unity' is meant mutual 
sympathy and respect and co-operation 
among Christian bodies in all common 
Christian enterprises, it may be confi- 
dently asserted, judging by their re- 
peated expressions, that Baptist church- 
es throughout the world would earnestly 
desire it. If by 'unity' is meant, how- 
ever, organic church union, involving 
an hierarchical form of church gov- 
ernment, and common creedal symbols 
conceived to be authoritative over the 
individual conscience, I doubt whether 
the Baptist churches will ever desire 
it or can ever accept the idea that 
it has much justification."* 

It is a deep-seated fear of the latter 
thing that has prompted the Southern 
Baptist Convention to decline by de- 
cisive votes to affiliate with either the 
Federal Council of Churches of Christ 
in America, or the World Council of 
Churches now in process of formation. 
The position of Southern Baptists is 
growing more difficult every year be- 
cause the world-wide trend toward 
ecumenicity is against them. A great 
host of Christian leaders, including such 
figures as the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, the President of the British Free 
Church Council and the Presidents of 
the American and Canadian Councils 
of Churches, have on many occasions 
declared it to be their conviction that 
the present movement toward unity is 
born of the Holy Spirit and is a fulfill- 
ment of the mind of God for this gener- 
ation of Christians. They insist that at 
long last the prayer of Jesus that His 
scattered flock might be made one, even 
as He and the Heavenly Father are 

* Union of Christendom, Edited by Kenneth 
Mackenzie, Bishop of Brechin. The Mac- 
millan Company, p. 527. 

One, is being answered by the vision 
and practical efforts of men in promot- 
ing ecumenicity. 

This viewpoint is not convincing to 
many Southern Baptists. They are not 
talking about the ecumenical move- 
ment. The rank and file of their preach- 
ers, as they express themselves in con- 
ventions and in their press, are not 
inclined to talk about it. They do not 
deal with ultimate issues in the great 
question of a divided Christendom. 
They are preoccupied with matters that 
have the denomination as the frame 
of reference. With Southern Baptists, 
the size and extent of the denomina- 
tional interest and activities is great; 
enough to save these labors from the 
judgment of smallness, even though 
they cannot escape the stigma of sec- 
tarianism. This numerical strength 
and localized influence of Southern 
Baptists, however, has long troubled 
some of the more thoughtful preachers 
of the South who feel that the scope 
of the Christian evangel and its cre- 
ative action, as far as Baptists are 
concerned, is constantly suffering as 
a consequence of this condition. 

The British Baptists have taken a 
different course from that of Southern 
Baptists. They have joined the Church, 
Council of Great Britain and have 
assumed full responsibilities with other 
Protestant and Evangelical churches 
in the British Isles in maintaining a 
cooperative organization of the church- 
es. The experience does not seem to 
have brought any harm to our British ■ 
brethren. They have not grown and 
prospered materially as have Southern 
Baptists, but the reasons for this lie 
elsewhere. They have a democratic 
spirit and a local independence that : 
is more pronounced than that found : 
in the average Southern congregation.] 

The late Dr. J. H. Rushbrooke, who 
was a lover of things pertaining to: 
Baptists everywhere, told me in To-' 
ronto several years ago, that in his; 


Ecumenicity and Southern Baptists 


opinion Baptists ought to join the 
church councils wherever they had an 
invitation to do so, because doing so 
affords them the opportunity to bear 
their witness against the forms of 
ecclesiasticism which always hinder 
the free course of the gospel. He said 
that he warmly consented to the idea 
of church councils and their free and 
cooperative functions, but that he was 
opposed to any overall, organic union 
that would deprive the churches of 
their freedom. 

In Canada, where the Baptists are 
not numerous, but where because of 
the high type of personalities within 
their fellowship they exercise an influ- 
ence out of all proportion to their 
strength, the President of the Canadian 
Council of Churches is a distinguished 
Baptist — Dr. George Peel Gilmour, 
Chancellor of McMaster University of 
Ontario. (During my ministry at Wal- 
mer Road Church, Toronto, I was a 
member of the Baptist delegation on 
the national council and observed the 
most cordial and fruitful relations of 
our Canadian Baptist friends and their 
fellow Christians of other denomina- 
tional families). 

It is well-known that the Northern 
Baptist Convention has long been active 
in the Federal Council of Churches and 
has given several honored Presidents 
to that organization through the years. 
Efforts to disrupt this fruitful relation- 
ship between the Northern churches 
and the council have been defeated by 
strong leaders because the record of 
the achievements of the council com- 
mends itself to the rank and file of 
Northern Baptists. 

What about Southern Baptists and 
the coming events at Amsterdam? 
When the American Committee for the 
World Council of Churches gathers in 
the Constituting Assembly in the war- 
shaken city of Holland there will be 
some Southern Baptists present, and 
[there will be some "unofficial observers," 
but there will be no duly elected repre- 
sentatives of the largest division of 
the "largest free church body on earth." 
North American Christian denomina- 

tions and communions will be repre- 
sented by 90 official delegates repre- 
senting 32 communions. These will sit 
in the general assembly with alternates 
and other accredited visitors under 
the present plan of world council orga- 
nization. This is to be a historic occa- 
sion when the Christian fellowship 
around the world will once more draw 
together in brotherly love and write 
another chapter in the Acts of the 

At Amsterdam the churches will face, 
under realistic and scholarly leadership, 
the awful paganism of today's world. 
They will deal with questions of vital 
concern to the very existence of Chris- 
tian civilization in lands that have 
become almost wholly pagan and secu- 
lar. They will endeavor through the 
gospel to advance the solidarity and 
spiritual awakening of the nations con- 
stituting the free world. They will seek 
to bring world reconstruction under 
more spiritual and moral auspices. 
These forces for rehabilitation are now 
almost secularized. 

Southern Baptists, with six million 
members in American churches great 
and small, should not be aloof from 
this great endeavor of moral recon- 
struction. Baptists cannot escape re- 
sponsibility by saying they lack an 
organized life in which is vested "eccle- 
siological authority," because they do 
function as a Christian body. In many 
parts of the world Baptists are thought 
of as an obscure and rather ignorant 
sect. They are judged by small and 
underprivileged groups. These false 
impressions cannot be corrected by the 
present trend to avoid all forums of 
interchurch witness and discussion 
where opportunity might be had to set 
the true Baptist position and the real 
Baptist people before the rest of the 
Christian world in advantageous light. 

"New occasions teach new duties," 
and it would appear that in the fullness 
of time there are great stirrings abroad 
with spiritual possibilities that Baptists 
would do well to face with serious and 
resolute purpose. 

My Manifesto 

By W. R. Cullom 

When the request came to me two 
or three weeks ago from the editor of 
Christian Frontiers that I should write 
the present statement, it was not clear 
to me whether I was asked to speak 
as a personal Christian or as a minister 
of Christ. An inquiry brought the sug- 
gestion that I speak in both capacities. 

Sixty -Seven Years A Christian: On 
September 1, 1881, I was baptized in a 
little stream in Halifax County, North 
Carolina. The little creek in which I 
was baptized was called Quankie. The 
little country church close by which 
bears the name of the stream was or- 
ganized on the day that I joined it, 
my older sister and I being among the 
twelve constituent members. Until a 
year or so before this date there had 
been no Baptist preaching in our com- 
munity. Sometime during 1880 a little 
man physically whose name was A. G. 
Wilcox began to preach in a log school- 
house on my father's farm. This man 
was often in my father's home and 
soon came to be loved as a warm friend 
and the beloved shepherd of our house- 
hold. In the summer of 1881 the neigh- 
bors built a "bush arbor" a few hundred 
yards from the school-house, to accom- 
modate more people. Dr. J. D. Hufham 
of Scotlend Neck came up to help Mr. 
Wilcox in evangelistic services. Dr. 
Hufham was a very eloquent preacher, 
and large crowds came to hear him. 
When he had been with us a day or 
two, Dr. Hufham made this statement: 
"Great faith is spoken of only twice in 
the New Testament. Little faith is 
spoken of over and over again. It is 
not the quantity of one's faith that 
saves; it is the one in whom the faith 
is centered that matters. If there be 
one here who has little faith, but that 
faith is centered in Jesus Christ as a 
personal Saviour, I want him to come 
and give me his hand as a token of 
that fact." I came on that invitation, 
joined the group in organizing the 
church at the close of the meeting, and 

have gone on from that day to this in 
a more or less halting way as a pro- 
fessed Christian. Two people in the 
New Testament seem to me to charac- 
terize my attitude as a Christian better 
than any others: (1) the publican who 
stood afar off smiting on his breast 
and saying "God, be merciful to me 
the sinner"; (2) the man who when 
asked whether he believed said, "Lord, 
I believe, help thou mine unbelief." 

On last November at the request of 
the diaconate of our church here at 
Wake Forest, it was my privilege to 
administer the Lord's Supper for our 
congregation made up of students, fac- 
ulty, and community people. In ap- 
proaching this celebration I took 
occasion to remark on what I have 
always felt in approaching the supper, 
viz. this: "Whenever I come to ap- 
proach this table and think of what 
it symbolizes I feel that I should turn 
my back and face the other way. Then 
another thought comes to me and I 
ask myself this question: 'If I turn 
from this and especially from the great 
fact symbolized by this where shall I 
go?' This question always drives me 
back saying as I come, 

In my hand no price I bring, 
Simply to thy cross I cling; 
Naked, come to thee for dress; 
Helpless, look to thee for grace; 
Vile, I to the fountain fly, 
Wash me, Saviour, or I die." 

Of course Christ means much more 
to me now than he did in the beginning 
of my life as a Christian. He is to me 
the One in whom all things "hold 
together"; he is the pioneer leading to 
all that is most worth while; he is the 
Word made flesh so that in fellowship 
with Him we may come into present 
and direct fellowship with God; he is 
the Alpha and the Omega of all ere- ' 
ation; he is in the eternal counsels of 
God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 


My Manifesto 


[n fellowship with him we can say, 
'Now are we the Sons of God, and it 
doth not yet appear what we shall be; 
but we know that when he shall appear, 
we shall be like him; for we shall 'see 
him as he is'.' 1 

So then as I look to the past I can 
sing with the penitent John Newton, 

Tis grace that brought me safe thus 

And grace will lead me home. 

As I look at the present I can say 
with the Apostle Paul, "By the grace 
of God I am what I am" (I Cor.; 15:10). 

As I look to the future and face all 
that is ahead, I can sing with Edward 

My hope is built on nothing less 

Than Jesus' blood and righteousness; 

I dare not trust the sweetest frame 

But wholly lean on Jesus' name. 
I can also sing with Mr. Hopper, 

Jesus, Saviour, pilot me 

Over life's tempestuous sea; 

Unknown waves before me roll, 

Hiding rock and treacherous shoal; 

Chart and compass come from thee; 

Jesus, Saviour, pilot me. 

Sixty Years a Minister of the Gospel: 
In the same little church that was 
organized on September 1, 1881, I was 
set apart to the gospel ministry on the 
fourth Sunday in May, 1888. Dr. T. J. 
Taylor of Warrenton preached the or- 
dination sermon. His text was: "Make 
full proof of thy ministry" (2 Tim. 4:5). 
Pastor Wilcox made the charge and 
offered the ordaining prayer. 

Like most of the experiences that 
have come to me, there was nothing 
startling in my call to the ministry. The 
particular decision to be a preacher 
came about in this way: I was clerking 
in a little country store in Warren 
county. This store was in sight of 
Brown's Baptist Church and was run 
by Mr. Joseph L. Rodwell. My bedroom 
was in the store, and my meals were 
^aken at the table of Mr. Rodwell's 
brother-in-law, Mr. Walter Allen. My 
work and my fellowship were very 
igreeable to me, but there was a stirring 
in my soul for something further. In 
1885 a friend of mine was teaching in 
Davie County near Parmington. He 

knew that I wanted to go to school 
but could see no way to do so. In this 
situation a letter came to me from this 
friend proposing that I come up to 
Davie and room with him and help him 
with his teaching, and he would teach 
me. I had never been to a high school! 
At the close of the school year in the 
spring of 1886 my friend declined re- 
election for the position he held, and 
the trustees elected me to succeed him! 
In the meantime, I came back to 
Brown's Church in Warren County and 
taught a little public school in the 
summer of 1886. My room was the same 
that I used when clerking in the store 
and my boarding place the same. In 
my room in this little store house I sat 
down one night and wrote pastor Wil- 
cox telling him of my feelings as to 
the ministry. When I heard from him 
he had asked the church at Quankie to 
license me to preach. He began at once 
to arrange for me to enter Wake Forest 
College. The people in Davie County 
were informed of what was going on. 
They rejoiced at the news and released 
me from my contract with them, and 
on September 1, 1886, I put my foot 
upon the Wake Forest campus for the 
first time. 

In the mean time, just before leaving 
the Brown's community, Dr. T. J. Taylor 
of Warrenton invited me to come over 
to his prayer meeting service in War- 
renton and preach for him. I was inno- 
cent enough to go over and try it! This 
was the last Thursday night in August, 
1886. My text was taken from Matthew 
11:29 and had in it three words: "Learn 
of me." A good layman friend of mine 
never misses an opportunity to urge 
ministers to preach Jesus Christ and 
leave off all side issues. It has been my 
purpose during these sixty years to try 
honestly to do two things: (1) obey 
the injunction of my first text; (2) hold 
my messages constantly and faithfully 
to this central theme. If I were going 
to start over these sixty years today I 
should underscore these two purposes. 

About twenty years ago or a little 
more the young ministers at Wake 
Forest requested me to speak to them 
on the matter of a Baptist minister in 


Christian Frontiers 

a given community in his relationship 
to his fellow ministers of other denom- 
inations. The three things that I said 
to those young men gathered in Win- 
gate Memorial Hall on that day seem 
to me now to be thoroughly safe, sen- 
sible, sound and wise as guiding prin- 
ciples in just about all of a minister's 
relationships. These were my sugges- 
tions on that occasion: (1) be a gentle- 
man; (2) be a Christian; (3) be a 
Baptist. And I urged those young men 
to take and follow my suggestions in 
the order named. Let us look at them 
a little further: 

Who has not seen ministers in their 
zeal for their own "side" appear to 
forget the more delicate instincts, not 
to say habits of the gentleman? It 
makes no difference what the circum- 
stances or even what the provocation 
may be, no minister of Christ can 
afford to stoop to that which is not 
essentially the conduct of a gentleman 
in his attitude toward and his dealings 
with his fellows. Are these matters 
clean? Are they carried on with due 
consideration for the other man's good 
name? For his success? For his influ- 
ence among his own people and among 
the people of the community? Do we 
carry a spirit of good will towards our 
fellows? These questions offer a hint 
as to my conception of a gentleman. 

And then one wants to be Christian. 
Much of what has been suggested as 
to the gentleman could not be carried 
on and practised without involving 
much that is Christian. And yet, to use 
a phrase that came to me from my 
friend, Dr. Frank Leavel, there is a 
"Christian plus." What is it? The key 
word in Christian nomenclature as I 
see it is the word love. The great Augus- 
tine of Hippo was not far wrong, surely, 
when he said, "Love God and do what 
you please." When our Lord was asked 
as to which is the great commandment 
— the summum oonum of it all — he 
named love to God and love to one's 
fellows as the two great foci of spirit, 
of attitude, of life in his Kingdom. 
There are no blue prints given. The 
fact that a man is born of God and 
is honestly trying to learn of Jesus 

should carry a minister, and other 
people too, progressively and increas- 
ingly into the Christian way. If I were 
called upon to describe the Christian 
way of life in New Testament language, 
I should say it is losing life to save it. 
Or, to put it in different language, it 
is to forget self in the interest of others. 

And then he should be a Baptist, or 
whatever he pretends to be, and be 
loyal and faithful to his own faith and 
to his own group. Many delicate ques- 
tions arise here : Who is to define terms 
for him — his local church or some more 
general body? Who is to measure and 
approve or disapprove at this point? 
The Baptist thesis, as I understand it, 
involves an absolute renunciation of 
self — being "buried with Christ" — and 
the acceptance of Another as one's 
supreme Lord, Guide, Director and 
Leader. Is there coming to be among 
Baptists too much tendency to lay 
down what I have called "blue prints"? 
The suggestions that I am here hinting 
go deep and far. Nothing short of the 
"birth from above" and a constant 
perpetual and honest renewal of the 
question that turned Saul the persecu- 
tor into Paul the humble Christian will 
do for Baptists: "Lord, what wilt thou 
have me to do?" 

A faithful application of these three 
principles will constitute a safe guide 
for the minister of Christ — young min- 
ister, middle-aged minister, old minis- 
ter; a minister in a large and influen- 
tial church and a minister in the hum- 
blest place in all the world; the "mind 
that was in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5-8) 
will always and everywhere be a safe 
guide for his servant. And one who 
follows this principle may do so in the 
assurance that in the end the Master 
will say to him, "Where I am there 
shall also my servant be." 

These are some of the ideals and 
purposes that have been in my soul 
through these sixty years as a minister 
of Christ. 

In closing my personal word above I 
referred to two or three hymns that I 
could sing in all honesty and sincerity. 
If I may quote a hymn in closing my 

My Manifesto 


word as a minister it will be that per- 
tinent word from Mr. Samuel Medley: 

O could I speak the matchless worth 
O could I sound the glories forth which 

in my Saviour shine! 
I'd soar, and touch the heavenly strings 
And vie with Gabriel while he sings 

in notes almost divine. 

I'd sing the precious blood he spilt 

My ransom from the dreadful guilt 

of sin and wrath divine! 
I'd sing his glorious righteousness 
In which all-perfect dress my soul 

shall ever shine. 

I'd sing the character he bears 

And all the forms of love He wears 

exalted on His throne: 
In loftiest songs of sweetest praise I 

would to everlasting days 
Make all His glories known. 

The Problem of Relationship In The 
Counseling Process 

By Robert H. Ayers 

An important factor in counseling is 
the establishment of a proper relation- 
ship between counselor and counselee. 
If the relationship is strained, if the 
consultant feels uncomfortable, because 
the counseling is made a mysterious 
sxperience or he senses coldness in the 
counselor, there can be no real coun- 
seling. The counselor must have gen- 
uine interest in and good will for the 
consultant. A contemporary statement 
concerning John Dod, a Puritan min- 
ister of the early seventeenth century, 
illustrates the attitude every minister 
ind counselor should take toward one 
coming to him for help: 
Moreover, he made it easy for them 
to seek him out for private con- 
ferences in their difficulties. His 
habit was to use the church edifice 
for his study. There perplexed souls 
would find him, and if he thought 
them bashful, he would meet them 
and say, "Would you speak with 
me?" And when he found them 
unable to state their question, he 
would help them out with it, taking 
care to find the sore: But would 
answer and deal so compassionately 
and tenderly as not to discourage 
the poorest soul from coming again 
to him. 

Here is perhaps the greatest element 
in the establishment of a good relation- 
ship — a warm affection for people, with- 
out criticisms or moral judgments. Here 
is that fellowship with God and sym- 
pathy with man that makes for good 

Problems are not solved by words 
and lectures. No amount of sermonizing 
can solve a person's problem when he 
is unaware of its emotional roots. Nor 
can it be solved through an intellectual 
understanding of its causes, unless he 
is able to come to grips with these 
causes and work out an emotional ad- 

Moralizing has no curative effect in 
counseling. The curative element arises 
from the effect of one personality upon 
another. Since our emotional problems 
arise out of unhealthy personal rela- 
tionships, they can only be solved 
through healthy personal relationships. 
Therapy is 95 per cent personality and 
5 per cent technique. Therefore, the 
counselor needs to develop a healthy 
mindedness and strength of character. 
It is imperative that he understand 
himself so that he can work out his 
own anxieties, fears, and guilt and have 
them under control. Socrates' dictum 


Christian Frontiers 

"know thyself" is applicable to the 

Anxieties on the part of the counselor 
can kill the counseling process. They 
cause the counselor to reject the coun- 
selee and his problem, to show lack of 
interest in what the counselee is saying 
at the moment, to show hostility to 
the counselee, or unjustly to take the 
counselee's side against someone else. 
Any one of these reactions will block 
the counseling process. 

Bonnell, in Psychology For Pastor and 
People, suggests that the skillful coun- 
selor establish an empathic relationship 
with the consultant. The word empathy 
he believes to be superior to the word 
sympathy in describing the proper rela- 
tionship. This word comes from the 
Greek word empatheria, meaning "to 
feel into." It means that the counselor 
enters successfully into the emotional 
experiences of another. As Adler says 
in Understanding Human Nature, "Em- 
pathy occurs in the moment one human 
being speaks to another. It is impossible 
to understand another individual if it 
is impossible at the same time to iden- 
tify one's self with him." 

Empathy implies such a "feeling 
into," such complete identity, that one 
feels emotions and reactions in the 
same manner that another feels them. 
Yet the counselor must, at the same 
time that he feels empathy with an- 
other, hold himself to some extent 
aloof. Complete identity ruins the coun- 
seling process. The story is told of a 
counselor in a camp crying with a girl 
who had come to her with a distressing 
problem. Naturally this only added to 
the emotional tension of the girl in- 
stead of helping her to solve the prob- 
lem. The counselor must be sensitive 
enough to the needs of the counselee 
to control his own identification with 
the counselee in order to serve best the 
person he is helping. He must, for ex- 
ample, regard objectively the love and 
hate of the consultants toward himself. 

In this regard, BonnelPs Psychology 
for Pastor and People gives the follow- 
ing advice concerning the problem of 

It is unwise for the Pastor-coun- 

selor to practice the Freudian tech- 
nique of transference, whereby he 
receives to himself the affection of 
a consultant, retaining it until the 
appropriate stage of the counseling 
process, when he redirects it to its 
natural objective. Rapport must be 
established with each consultant, 
and a measure of affection will be 
given to the Pastor-counselor, but 
he will unfailingly direct it toward 

In some respects this is good advice; 
in other respects, it is bad. Certainly, 
no pastor is capable of going into thei 
long process of psychoanalysis wherei 
the Freudian type of transference is 
a sought-for goal. He doesn't have the; 
time, nor the ability to do so. Yet, to. 
advise the counselor when transference; 
does arise to redirect it toward God 
is to give a general bit of advice that 
leaves one up in the air with no means 
of working its fulfillment. 

In the book Psychoanalytic Therapy 
by Alexander, French, and others, 
transference has been denned in this 
manner. "In its widest sense, trans- 
ference is the neurotic repetition with! 
relation to the analyst of a stereotyped, 
unsuitable behavior pattern based on 
the patient's past." It is entirely pos- 
sible, then, that the counselee will direct 
not only feelings of affection to the 
counselor, but also feelings of resent- 
ment, guilt and fear. These are notj 
suitable emotions to be directed toward 
God. Often the counselee will have al- 
ready one or more of these feelings 
projected toward God. This will espe- 
cially be true if he has had unfortunate 
experiences with a domineering father. 
The problem, then, in many cases if 
that of helping the counselee to be re- 
lieved altogether of these unhealthy 1 

The study of the problem of trans- 
ference has led this writer to a reversa^ 
of opinion concerning the method o: 
counseling. Through inexperience anc 
acquaintance with only one method, th( , 
writer has taken the directive approach 
However, this method leads into somi 
serious difficulties. It takes away thi] 
freedom and the responsibility of th< 

Relationship in the Counseling Process 


counselee and leaves him dependent 
entirely upon the direction of the coun- 
selor. A problem-centered approach is 
taken by the counselor. He seeks to 
solve problems rather than to help 
persons grow. He fails to recognize 
that a growing person can solve his 
own problems, and that solving his own 
problems helps a person grow. This 
approach also involves the counselor in 
probing and digging, somewhat like the 
psychoanalyst, in an attempt to get at 
the counselee's real source of difficulty. 
This brings about in the counselee not 
only a sense of dependence but also a 
feeling of resentment. The result is that 
the counselee wishes to please the coun- 
selor and yet dislikes him. He wishes 
:o lean on the counselor and yet wants 
o be free at the same time. 

K. Horney's The Neurotic Personality 
of Our Time says: 
In relationships in which one per- 
son becomes dependent on another, 
there is invariably a good deal of 
resentment. The dependent person 
resents being enslaved; he resents 
having to comply, but continues to 
do so for fear of losing the other. 
Not knowing that it is his anxiety 
which creates the situation, he will 
easily assume that his subjugation 
has been brought about by the 
other's imposing on him. Resent- 
ment growing on such a basis has 
to be repressed, because the affec- 
tion of the other is bitterly needed, 
and this repression in turn gener- 
ates new anxiety, with a subsequent 
need for reassurance and hence a 
reinforced impulse to cling to the 

This is what happens when the coun- 
elor gives "spiritual prescriptions" or 
ther advice. Resentment is also brought 
-bout by the unwise use of prayer and 
»y the questioning method. 
It is recognized even by psychoana- 
psts today that the transference neuro- 
is is not inevitable and that it must 
e controlled. It was once thought that 
nprovement in the life of the coun- 
elee could only be achieved by trans- 
erring his neurotic fixations to the 
ounselor, of which neurotic condition 

the counselee must then be cured. The 
transference neurosis was then used 
to reveal unconscious material, to make 
interpretation, and to assist the coun- 
selee in working through his problem. 
It has been discovered now, however, 
that this technique is dangerous be- 
cause the transference neurosis can 
be used as a covering for a feeling of 
hostility to the counselor and as a 
means of resistance to insight. If it 
becomes a total retreat from life, the 
cure is as bad as the disease, if not 

Weiss, in Psychoanalytic Therapy, 
has shown that transference is not 
always possible since the counselor may 
not be suitable for a particular coun- 
selee's emotions. The counselor may not 
symbolize that person in this particular 
counselee's past about whom his emo- 
tional disturbance is centered. Or, on 
the contrary, rapport may be impossible 
with a particular counselee if the coun- 
selor resembles too closely a person in 
the counselee's past about whom he 
has strong feelings of hate, fear, or 
guilt. If this initial disadvantage can 
be overcome by wise responses on the 
part of the counselor, a more thorough 
type of therapy may be achieved. If 
not, then it would seem wise to refer 
the counselee to another counselor. 

Therapists are generally agreed, then, 
that in cases where transference is apt 
to take place, steps should be taken 
to control it. 

The standard technique to control 
transference seems, however, to create 
other unfavorable reactions. It has been 
the general practice of analysts to try 
to keep their own personalities entirely 
out of the picture. They try to create 
a controlled laboratory situation where 
their own individual peculiarities play 
the least possible part in stimulating 
client reaction. In the interview the 
counselee is made to lie on a couch 
with the analyst behind him so that 
not even the facial expressions of the 
analyst are observable by the counselee. 
The result of such a practice is to create 
an air of unreality, mystery, and cold- 
ness in the whole process. 

If, then, the counselor is to take a 


Christian Frontiers 

normal, warm and affectionate attitude, 
how is he to control the transference 
neurosis? The answer is in the non- 
directive approach plus the establish- 
ment of well defined limits in the coun- 
seling situation. 

The fact that in the non-directive 
approach the counselee is given the 
freedom to carry the conversation as 
he pleases, gives to the counselee a 
responsibility for the whole process 
which keeps at a minimum his sense of 
dependence on the counselor. This 
reveals to him that the counselor re- 
spects his personality and feels that 
he is of some worth. That the coun- 
selor does not give him advice bolsters 
his sense of independence. 

To be sure, even in non-directive 
counseling many counselees feel de- 
pendent on the counselor. However, if 
he accepts this right of the counselee 
without anxiety or egoism, or the 
domination of the counselee's decisions, 
he can by skillful responses lead the 
client to that insight which helps him 
grow away from dependence to inde- 
pendence. In this respect, the counsel- 
ing relationship is somewhat akin to 
that of the wise parent with his chil- 
dren. The wise parent realizes that 
his children achieve maturity only as 
they grow away from him. Therefore, 
he gives them opportunity gradually 
to accept responsibilities and to make 
their own decisions. 

Moreover, transference is kept at a 
minimum in the non-directive inter- 
view if certain limits are established. 
One of these limits has already been 
mentioned, that the counselor must 
refuse to take responsibility for the 
problems and actions of the counselee. 
He will not do for the client what the 
client ought to do for himself. Another 
limitation is that concerning time. The 
counselee is free to break his appoint- 
ment or to keep it, to come on time 
or late, to use the time in idle talk or 
to get at his real problem. But he 
should not be free to control the coun- 
selor and to gain more time through 
using tricks. Often the counselee will 
wait until the last minute to bring up 
some important item, seeking in this 

way to gain more time. The counselor 
must be kind but firm and terminate 
the interview within a reasonable ap- 
proximation of the limit set. If he does 
not do so, the transference problem will 
be one of domination of the counselor 
by counselee. 

There must also be a limit to physical 
destructiveness. While the counselee is 
free to express his hostilities as strong- 
ly as he wishes, he is not free to attack 
the counselor or destroy property. In 
therapy with children they are permit- 
ted to smash such items as clay dolls, 
shout, or spill water. But this is lim- 
ited to the therapist's office. 

Again, there is a limitation to the 
number of appointments. It seems best 
to space them a week apart, for often 
in the interval the counselee gains 
valuable insights as he works on the 
problem in his natural environment. 
This limitation also lessens the attach- 
ment which the counselee is apt to 
develop for the counselor. 

This whole matter of proper limita- 
tions has other therapeutic value. Lim- 
itations are to be found on all sides in 
actual life. Part of the process of grow- 
ing to maturity is the accepting oi 
limitations and the making of propei 
adjustments to them. 

In conclusion, Roger's Counseling ana 
Psychotherapy summarizes the probleif 
of relationship: 
The counseling relationship is one 
in which warmth of acceptance and 
absence of any coercion or personal 
pressure on the part of the counsel- 
or permits the maximum expression 
of feelings, attitudes, and problems 
by the counselee. The relationship 
is a well -structured one, with limits 
of time, of dependence, and of 
aggressive action which apply par- 
ticularly to the client, and limits 
of responsibility and of affection 
which the counselor imposes upon 
himself. In this unique experience 
of complete emotional freedom 
within a well-defined framework, 
the client is able to recognize and 
understand his impulses and pat- 
terns, positive and negative, as in 
no other relationship. 


JANUARY, 1949 

In Th is I 



OF THE BIBLE E. F. bcorr 





EMPHASIS S. L. Morgan, Sr. 


TO DO ABOUT ST Kelley Barnetr 

Publication of the Baptist Book Club, Incorporated 


A Journal of Baptist Life and Thought 
Vol. II JANUARY, 1949 No. 1 


William W. Finlator, Editor-in-Chief 
Marjorie E. Moore, Advisory Editor Almonte C. Howell, Book Editt 

J. O. Bailey, Managing Editor Sara Lowrey, Poetry Editor 


W. O. Carver, Louisville, Ky. J. C. Wilkinson, Athens, Ga. 

H. B. Cross, Nashville, Tenn. Swan Hayworth, Vicksburg, Miss. 

George B. Cutten, Chapel Hill, X. C. Withrow T. Holland, Haynesville, 11 

J. M. Dawson, Washington, D. C. Adiel J. Moncrief, St. Joseph, Mo. 

Clyde V. Hickerson, Richmond, Va. Blake Smith, Austin, Texas 

Edward H. Pruden, Washington, D. C Hubert R. Howard, Jr., Tulsa, Okla 


Lee C. Sheppard, Chairman 
Fred B. Helms R. K. Redwine 

Carl Lee Ousley John McGinnis 

A. C. McCall 


Editorials 2c' 

A Prayer of Thanksgiving Lanneau D. Lide 2£ 

Criticism And The Understanding of the Bible E. F. Scott 2£ 

The Test of Poetry Sara Lowrey 29 

Poems Mary White Slater, Mabel Pyland Cooper 2i 

Why Some Good Baptists Are Anti-Missionary John T. Wayland 2^ 

The Tragedy of Misplaced Emphasis S. L. Morgan, Sr. 2< 

Communism: What It Is and What To Do About It Kelley Barnett 3( 

Who's Who in This Issue 3( 

Correspondence 3( 

Christian Frontiers is published monthly (except July and August) by the Baptist Boc 
Club, a non-profit fellowship of ministers and laymen. Address all correspondence ! 
Box 508. Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Copyright 1946 by the Baptist Book Club. Enteri 
as second class matter February 6, 1947 at the post office at Chapel Hill, N. C. under tl 
Act of March 3, 1S79. Subscription price, two dollars a year; twenty-five cents a cop 
Printed by The Graphic Press, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina. 



! With this issue Christian Frontiers 
[olds up. This decision, made in the 
teeth of assurances of its continu- 
ance, was forced upon us for a num- 
ber of reasons. Perhaps the chief and 
most obvious reason is lack of 
money. Having no institutional back- 
ing, and indeed desiring none, Chris- 
tian Frontiers was always at the 
mercy of private contribution and 
support. While friends have been 
enerous and, in one or two in- 
stances, liberal, the lack of organ- 
ized effort has made impossible the 
!' 'guaranteed income" upon which the 
survival of such a journal depends. 
With the moving from North Caro- 
lina of several key men in our ven- 
ture whose work had placed them in 
coigns of vantage our organization 
disintegrated. This loss did not oc- 
casion our "time of troubles" but 
undoubtedly gave it the "death 

We cease and desist with neither 
illusion nor blame. We feel that 
short-lived as was our venture we 
served a real purpose and do not 
need to console ourselves with the 
cold comfort that ours was a "noble 
experiment." We are conscious of 
both our virtues and our faults. Were 
we given a new lease on life our 
original purpose would remain un- 
reconstructed, but a number of our 
methods and approaches would bear 
scrutiny and possible change. 

To all who have been associated 
with us, supported us, rebuked us 
in charity, followed us in faith, 
prayed for us in hope we are un- 
payably grateful. We shall remember 
you from the land of Jordan and 
of the Hermonites. 

And now let us begin and carry 
up this corpse, singing together, 
looking for the resurrection of a 
nobler and a finer successor! 


The secular press has made much 
ado over an incident in North Caro- 
lina Baptist life about which Bap- 
tists themselves have been officially 
quiet. Rev. K. M. Lindner, an ex- 
chaplain, after stating publicly his 
opinion that government control of 
alcoholic beverages was preferable 
to and more effective than prohi- 
bition, was peremptorily removed as 
president of the South River As- 
sociation Ministers Conference. Im- 
mediately following this action by 
his fellow ministers, Mr. Lindner 
called his church in conference and 
announced that his resignation as 
pastor was available if the church 
willed it. Several days afterwards 
the church gave the minister a vote 
of confidence, and to date he remains 

This incident must not be ignored. 
Here is bigotry masquerading as 
zeal; here is intolerance confused 
with conviction. Mr. Lindner was re- 
moved from office not because of 
any personal unfitness — he is a total 
abstainer and deplores the use of 
alcohol — but because he differed 
with them as to the best method of 
controlling the consumption of al- 
coholic beverages. His experience 
and observation had led him to an 
honest acceptance of a method poli- 
tically hot and ecclesiastically unor- 
thodox, and for this he had to step 
down as head of the sanhedrin. We 
all hate demon rum and wish de- 
voutly we might remove this dread- 
ful evil, but when one of our num- 
ber is shown the exit for question- 
ing the standardized solution, we 
have mistaken zeal for intolerance. 
But there are overtones to this in- 
cident which bring a foreboding of 
something more. Can it be but one 
piece out of a broad pattern of 
standardization? Can it be a natural 



Christian Frontiers 

expression of a denomination of 
once free people who have crystal- 
lized into a deadening conformity? 
Can it be part and parcel of a grow- 
ing trend toward uniformity in all 
things? These questions may be put 
too strongly, but through their ex- 
aggeration some of us can sense dis- 
turbingly an impatience with dis- 
sent of any kind. We Baptists have 
long boasted of our traditional free- 
dom, the competence of every in- 
dividual before God, the open Bible 
and the open heart, but through the 
years we have been slipping into a 
theological and ecclesiastical con- 
formity that rivals in spirit the pa- 
pacy. And from theological and ec- 
clesiastical conformity it is but one 
step to conformity in method. One 
trembles to write these words and 
does so with hesitancy and diffi- 
dence, but one must speak lest the 
secular world wonder if we have re- 
nounced our vaunted freedom and 
Baptists, remaining silent, forfeit 
their dearest heritage. 

The removal of Mr. Lindner is no 
isolated incident. It is a body blow 
at the heart of Baptist freedom. 




In the September issue Home 
Missions carried an interesting ar- 
ticle entitled, "Roman Catholic or 
Southern Baptist?" in which a Bap- 
tist, converted from the Roman Ca- 
tholic faith, describes his efforts to 
win over a Jesuit priest. There are 
many cases, unheralded in the secu- 
lar press which apparently regards 
only one way conversions from pro- 
testantism as newsworthy, in which 
Roman Catholics, some prominent, 
become Baptists. We think, however, 
that the time has come for some 
Baptist, deeply loyal to his faith and 
denomination, and enjoying the re- 
spect of his brethren, to write a 
treatise on the inroads of Catholi- 

cism into our Southern Baptist lift 
and thought. With appropriate apol- 
ogies to Harold Fey he might entitle 
the treatise, "Can Catholicism Wir 
the S. B. C?" If any of our readers 
wishes to undertake this venture we 
shall remind him now that it calls 
for courage, humility, and scholar- 
ship. And in addition, we offer gra- 
tis the following suggestions: 

The writer might make it clear at 
the outset that the Roman Church 
does not now and will not in til 
foreseeable future gain many con- 
verts from the Southern Baptist 
Convention. Baptists and Jehovah's 
Witnesses will be about the last ever 
to return to the "Mother Church.'l 
But he will be troubled by unmis-i 
takable trends, of which the Lind- 
ner incident is a case in point, which 
are leading our denomination not to 
Rome but to Romanism. And he will 
observe the parallel between demo- 
cratic nations which become fascist 
in their war on fascist nations, and 
freedom-loving non-Catholic groups 
becoming slowly catholicized while 
vehemently opposing the inroads of 
the Roman Catholic Church. 

He will be concerned over the 
growing power of organization in 
our Convention. Baptists have tra- 
ditionally attacked the hierarchy 
without mercy and with good reason 
as the greatest system of self-perpe- 
tuated tyranny in human history. 
Yet there is much in the machinery 
of our Convention, its demand fori 
conformity and its reluctance to 
change, its subtle power to reward 
the conformist or make uncomfort- 
able the non-conformist, that more 
than suggests the hierarchy, espe- 
cially if we admit the possibility 
of a little group of wilful, if conse- 
crated men, controlling this organi- 

Furthermore our writer will ob- 
serve how we have appropriated 
the spirit of Romanism with respect 
to authority. While vigorously re- 
jecting the claim of the papacy to 
have received its authority from 

Christian Frontiers 


Christ via Peter, the first Pope, we 
have claimed to be exact replicas of 
a New Testament Church — though 
scholars have discovered several 
New Testament Churches with or- 
ganizational differences — and we 
have substituted an infallible Bible 
for an infallible Pope. The "Mother 
Church," "The New Testament 
Church," papacy, and biblicism — 
these come perilously close to creat- 
ing the self-same spirit. And while 
we Baptists cannot boast the roster 
of saints the Roman Church has pro- 
duced to bolster this authority, still 
the heavy hand of the past is upon 
us and the voices of many honored 
dead yet speak in our pulpits and 

To write all this will not be easy. 
We would not tolerate it from an 
outsider and we shall probably make 
it hard on one of the family. Yet 
some competent, courageous soul 
must undertake this inside job of 
reminding us now that not only can 
Catholicism win the Southern Bap- 
tist Convention, but is actually do- 
ing it. 


The library of the average pastor 
exhibits mal-nutrition. From a liter- 
ary point of view it is "slim pick- 
ings"; from a theological, it is a sur- 
feit of homiletical starches and er- 
satz theology, and indeed a little 
short of scandal. Dignified with the 
name "study" the library represents 
the minister's most neglected oppor- 
tunity. The visit of a cultured lay- 
man embarrasses us while we sput- 
ter for excuses and mumble our re- 
grets that the press of pastoral cares 
| and civic duties keeps us so much 

And what does this layman find 
in our "studies"? Here and there are 
some old text books kept from our 
college and seminary days, a con- 
cordance, perhaps a couple of sets 
of well-thumbed pulpit commentar- 

ies, a Webster's Collegiate looking 
about as much-used as the Bible in 
our parishioners' parlors, reams of 
denominational periodicals, study 
course manuals, etc., and several 
shelves rather heavily stocked with 
brightly covered books of sermons 
written and delivered by successful 
divines and pulpiteers. This layman 
would also very likely see an an- 
thology of quotable poems fit for 
every occasion, several hymnals and 
Bibles — one of the latter, Thomp- 
son's Chain Reference, lying open on 
our desk — possibly a volume of 
Shakespeare and Kipling, a history 
and a scientific treatise or two, a 
few novels old and new .... and 
this is just about all. 

These are the tools of the man 
called to stand before an audience 
two and three times a week to feed 
its soul, compel its conscience, en- 
lighten its mind and enlist its will. 
This audience with its multiple 
needs, its varieties of religious and 
cultural experiences, its social and 
intellectual strata, puts a tremen- 
dous strain upon any one who seeks 
week after week to minister to its 
deepest needs. No shepherd brows- 
ing in such a literary pasture as the 
one outlined above, regardless of his 
personal zeal and conviction, can 
hope to justify the ways of God to 
man to so diverse an audience. 

When we call the roll of the re- 
formers and the great masters of 
pulpit eloquence, we are immediate- 
ly impressed with their wide learn- 
ing and accurate scholarship. Mar- 
tin Luther, Melanchthon, John Cal- 
vin, and Zwingli were men steeped 
in classic lore, history, and theology. 
They were scholars of the first mag- 
nitude. They were scholars before 
they became reformers. And in our 
day the theologians who are win- 
ning the ear of the world, such as 
Barth, Brunner and Niebuhr, are in- 
tellectual as well as spiritual heirs 
of the reformers. So too the men of 
the pulpit who spoke most compell- 
ingly to their generation and whose 


Christian Frontiers 

words are still heard today, Cryso?- 
tom of the early church, England's 
Robertson of Brighton, and Ameri- 
ca's Phillips Brooks, to name but 
three, are of this literary and cul- 
tural lineage. 

Perhaps the pastor's study is a 
matter for the churchs' concern. Con- 
gregations should not only make it 
possible for their ministers to spend 
more time in their libraries, and even 
insist upon their doing so, but they 
should provide their pastors with 
solid libraries just as they provide 
them with comfortable parsonages. 
Modern furniture, excellent reading 
lamps, nice book cases filled with 
the best books, ancient and modern, 
the kind of books every pastor should 
read and few can afford, all this 
should greet the new pastor in his 
church as he moves into the par- 
sonage with his family. No church 
can make a wiser investment. And 
wise is that pastor whose congre- 
gation, about to give him a new car, 
prevails upon his people to substi- 
tute such a library! 

By Lanneau D. Lide 

"O Thou that inhabitest the praises 
of Israel," 
Sang the Psalmist of old. 
And because Thou dost dwell im 
the hearts 
of thy grateful people, 
We seek the spirit of thankfulness, 
That we may invoke the divine 

We would be grateful, 

Not so much because the lines 
have fallen to us 
In more pleasant places, perhaps, 
Than to some others less fortun- 
But rather for the blessings we 
share with all mankind, 
The gift of life upon this "goodly 
frame, the earth," 
With all its glorious possibilities, 
And the unsearchable riches of 
our inheritance 
All heirs of God and joint-heirs 
with Jesus Christ. 


Criticism And The Understanding 
Of The Bible 

By E. F. Scott 

Two very common misconceptions 
need to be cleared away before we 
can estimate the value of criticism 
for the preaching and the practical 
use of the Bible. There is first the 
idea that the critical enquiry is 
wholly modern, a product of the 
doubt and the restlessness which 
have afflicted the world during the 
last century. But we find, when we 
look back, that thoughtful men have 
always read the Bible critically. Je- 
sus himself was the first critic of 
the Old Testament. The Pharisees 
took all its statements literally; he 
radical conclusions of modern schol- 

ars. It was only in the later church 
pierced beneath the letter and sep- 
arated the abiding truth from all 
that was accidental and temporary. 
The authors of the New Testament 
had the critical spirit. Luke tells us 
in the preface to his Gospel that he 
had carefully examined the many 
traditions about Jesus in order to 
present his readers with verified 
facts. The works of the early fathers 
are full of critical suggestions, which 
sometimes anticipate the most 
that liberty was crushed out and 
men were all compelled to accept 
the given interpretations of the Bible 

Criticism and the Understanding of the Bible 


and its teaching. Criticism is not a 
modern invention. It may employ 
new methods and make use of 
knowledge which was not available 
in earlier times, but in its essence 
it is only a return to the original 
Christian attitude. 

The other misconception which is 
still deeply rooted in the minds of 
many is that the aim of criticism 
is to discredit the Bible. For ages 
this book has stood out from all 
others as the word of God. Men 
have looked to its teaching as un- 
questionable and made it the corner 
stone of all their faith and practice. 
Criticism has presumed to pry into 
its origin, to dispute the certainty of 
much that is contained in it, to 
show how its message is related at 
every point to events in the past 
and to conditions which were dif- 
ferent from those under which we 
are now living. As a result of this 
investigation the Bible loses its old 
authority, and this, we are told, is 
the deliberate purpose of its cri- 
tics. They raise doubts concerning 
the sacred book so as to undermine 
the Christian religion. But it may 
confidently be said that a charge 
of this kind is utterly baseless. The 
aim of criticism is no other than to 
understand the Bible. It cannot be 
properly understood without some 
knowledge of how it came into 
being, and if we are to gain this 
knowledge we must forget many 
old assumptions and look solely at 
the facts. This is how progress is 
made in every branch of enquiry. 
Astronomers ceased to assume that 
the sun went round the earth and 
studied the actual motions of the 
two bodies. Historians threw aside 
the hazy traditions and explained 
the rise of nations from the records 
and monuments which still sur- 
vived. No one can say that the 
solar system is less majestic now 
than it was to our forefathers, or 
that we have lost our patriotism 
because we no longer credit the 
old legends. No more need we give 

up the Bible if we agree with the 
critics that some of our former as- 
sumptions were mistaken. It is 
only poor and worthless things 
which wither under enquiry. If we 
believe in the Bible we ought to 
welcome all discoveries which en- 
able us to see it as it really is. 

The aim of criticism, therefore, is 
simply to find out the truth about 
this book which means so much to 
us. It may be granted that there are 
some scholars who try to belittle 
the Bible under cover of investi- 
gating its problems, but they can- 
not be properly regarded as critics. 
They are disowned by genuine cri- 
tics just as much as by the most 
conservative believers. For the word 
"criticism" is only the Greek for 
"judgment," and the function of a 
judge is to consider the facts be- 
fore him without any personal bias. 
A scholar who works with the set 
purpose of confuting the Bible may 
sometimes render useful service by 
emphasizing facts which have been 
slurred over by scholars of an op- 
posite bias, but at best he is only 
an advocate, and cannot be allowed 
to pass judgment. 

The critic, therefore, must look 
at the facts with an open mind. 
But although he is impartial he 
must have sympathies and con- 
victions which enable him to ap- 
preciate the facts. A good judge 
rids himself of all bias, but he can 
make nothing of his task unless he 
has a strong moral sense which 
guides him in the right direction. 
A good critic examines the Bible 
impartially, but approaches this re- 
ligious book in a religious spirit, 
for otherwise he can make nothing 
of its message. An eminent German 
critic who died some years ago 
wrote a very modest estimate of 
his life-work, but claimed that in 
one respect he had an advantage 
over his rivals. Some of them, he 
admitted, had very little religious 
belief, but they all had some linger- 
ing prejudice in favor of the Bible 


Christian Frontiers 

teaching. He had carefully cleared 
his mind of all beliefs, so as to pur- 
sue his work of criticism with ab- 
solute freedom. One feels at once 
that a position like this is absurd. 
A man might claim as well that he 
was best fitted to write impartially 
about Mozart because he had no 
ear for music. No one who is insen- 
sitive to music can safely be trusted 
even to dust a piano, and an irre- 
ligious man is sure to go wrong 
when he meddles with any ques- 
tion, however trivial, which con- 
cerns the Bible. The critic must in- 
deed seek only for the truth, and 
to this end must take account of all 
possibilities, however he may ob- 
ject to some of them. But he must 
have an open mind, open not only 
to doubts but to the glorious cer- 
tainties of the Bible message. 

Thus it is wrong to assume that 
criticism is in any way hostile to 
the teaching and authority of the 
Bible. Its whole object is to ascer- 
tain the truth about it, and the Bible 
is such a book that the more it is 
understood the more it discloses its 
wealth of meaning. This, indeed, 
is the more precious result of the 
work of criticism during the last 
century. People formerly took the 
Bible on trust, aware that much of 
it was obscure to them, but still 
accepting it as the store-house of 
divine wisdom. Very often there 
was a secret fear in their minds 
that the value placed on it was 
fictitious, and might melt away if 
all the facts were known. This was 
the true reason why the church for 
many centuries placed a ban on cri- 
ticism, and why it is still regarded 
by many good Christians with sus- 
picion. Might it not be that if the 
veil of mystery were withdrawn 
from the Bible it would prove to 
be empty or disappointing? It has 
now been exposed to the fiercest 
light of enquiry, but has become 
richer in meaning than it was be- 

For one thing we can read the 
various writings in their proper 
setting. A picture is meaningless if 
the object it presents is isolated 
from its surroundings. A man's life 
is of little interest if we know 
nothing of the time he lived in and 
the people among whom he worked. 
It is the function of criticism to 
bring every part of the Bible into 
relation to its age and circum- 
stances. Isaiah spoke a warning or 
a word of comfort; to whom did he 
speak it, and what was the occa- 
sion which called it forth? Paul 
wrote a letter to the Galatians; who 
were the Galatians? Where and 
when did he write the letter? What 
were the special difficulties which 
he had in view? In former times lit- 
tle attention was paid to such ques- 
tions. Isaiah and Paul were only 
mouth-pieces through whom a voice 
came from heaven to the world at 
large. Criticism tries to see them as 
living personalities, and to read 
their message with the eyes of its 
first readers. Everything in the Bi- 
ble is so treated, and this, it has 
been objected, is to throw back the 
book into a distant age and obscure 
its permanent meaning. But surely 
the very opposite is true. The Bi- 
ble is brought near to us and made 
vital. We can feel that it was ad- 
dressed to real persons and events 
that actually happened. As we trans- 
port ourselves into that past time 
we can see that its needs and prob- 
lems were strangely like our own, 
so that we can listen to the mes- 
sage as spoken directly to our- 
selves. The preacher has to address 
men and women who are strug- 
gling with grim realities, and he is 
now aware that this is also the na- 
ture of the Bible. There is nothing 
in it that is abstract or imaginary. 
It was the outcome of hard ex- 
perience and has guidance to offer 
us, almost wherever we open it, in 
our own daily conflict. Criticism has 
taught us to see the Bible in this 
light, and has thus pointed the way 

Criticism and the Understanding of the Bible 


to more practical and helpful preach- 

Again, it has brought home to us 
the great truth, implicit in all the 
Bible writings, that God speaks to 
men in concrete events. It was the 
ancient belief that the Old Testa- 
ment writers were consciously 
looking forward to the future Mes- 
siah. They appeared to deal only 
with things happening in their own 
days but all the time they were 
speaking in veiled language of the 
great revelation which was to come. 
But criticism has discovered that 
there is little Messianic prophecy in 
the Old Testament. Most of the sup- 
posed forecasts can be best under- 
stood as referring to some present 
emergency in the life of Israel. But 
in deeper sense the old view has 
been justified. The writers think of 
God as revealing himself in the 
events of history. They are the acts 
of God, and he speaks to us in his 
acts. It follows that his supreme 
revelation will take the form of an 
event which will crown and ex- 
plain all others. The Old Testament, 
as we have now learned to read it, 
exhibits God working through his- 
tory, and we know him by what he 
visibly does. It may truly be said 
that the Old Testament histories, 
no less than the Gospel of John, 
are built around the theme, "The 
Word was made flesh." Criticism 
has done a real service to religion 
by insisting that the Bible must be 
read in no allegorical or metaphy- 
sical sense, but as a record of facts. 
It teaches us to see God manifested 
by the things he does, in our own 
lives and in the life of the world 
around us. If the preacher is to bring 
a vital message to this troubled age 
he must take his stand on this Bi- 
ble conception. The events which 
are shaking everything have not 
happened blindly. God is speaking to 
us through them, and we must try 
to understand what he says. 

Once more, criticism has helped 
us to penetrate beneath the surface 

to the essential meaning of the Bi- 
ble. It was assumed in former times 
that since this was the word of 
God all parts of it were equally 
inspired and had a permanent value. 
By many ingenious methods the 
profoundest truths were wrung out 
of passages which on the face of 
them contained nothing but some 
antiquated law or mistaken theory. 
When everything in it was thus 
placed on the same level many hon- 
est men were compelled to own 
that they could not believe the Bi- 
ble. Criticism has taught us to dis- 
criminate. It has recognized that 
the thought of the Bible was col- 
ored, like a river, by the soil through 
which it flowed. It was affected by 
the myths of other religions, by 
popular traditions, by customs and 
modes of thinking which had sur- 
vived from primitive times. The 
writings grew up through a period 
of a thousand years and are often 
at variance with one another. They 
were produced sometimes under 
pressure of violent national feeling, 
and contain sentiments which of- 
fend our moral sense. Even in the 
New Testament, especially in Paul's 
Epistles, there are conceptions 
which can be traced back to Greek 
philosophy and to pagan cults which 
flourished in the first century. It is 
the task of criticism to analyze the 
Bible teaching and distinguish these 
alien elements, and in so doing it 
may often seem to be merely de- 
structive. We wonder sometimes 
whether anything will be left when 
all the accretions from foreign 
sources have been removed. Yet it 
is perhaps just here that criticism 
has done its most valuable service. 
It has enabled us to sift out the 
mingled materials of the Bible and 
to separate the pure gold from the 
alloy. A thinker of today cannot but 
be influenced by interests and ideas 
which will have lost their mean- 
ing tomorrow, and this is equally 
true of the men who wrote the Bi- 
ble. Much of their thought belonged 


Christian Frontiers 

to their own time, and we wish to 
know what was permanent, what 
had come directly from God him- 
self. The Bible as we read it in the 
light of criticism does not cease to 
be an inspired book, but we are 
learning where to look for the in- 
spiration. It does not consist in 
those theories and speculations 
which have puzzled so many ear- 
nest enquirers in the past. These, 
for the most part, had crept in from 
the outside, and we can now define 
them as Babylonian or Persian or 
Greek. The Bible is inspired in so 
far as it sets forth the eternal 
principles of right action and brings 
home to us the wisdom and the 
goodness of God. This is the mes- 
sage which all these writers are 
seeking in their various ways to im- 
part, and the task of the preacher 
is to discern it and make it real to 
the present day. 

The value of criticism would be 
far more generally acknowledged if 
it were not for the arrogant atti- 
tude of many of its modern ex- 
ponents. They assume that no one 
before them knew anything about 
the Bible. They pour ridicule on 
those who have studied it patiently 
by other methods, and dismiss all 
the old conclusions as out of date. 

The truth is that the Bible speaks 
for itself, and its main purport has 
always been clear. In some ways the 
critical interpretation has been more 
a hindrance than a help. It has 
forced attention to questions of date 
and language and authorship which 
after all are subsidiary, and blinded 
us, in some measure, to the things 
that matter. To appreciate a noble 
building you need to stand at a lit- 
tle distance away from it, and in this 
respect the plain reader of the Bi- 
ble has a real advantage over the 
critic. He has another advantage, 
that it is easier for him to approach 
the book with reverence, and we 
must come to it in that attitude 
before it will yield its secret. For 
our fathers it was literally the word 
of God, and if they forgot that he 
had given it under human condi- 
tions and through human person- 
ality they were conscious of a truth 
which was far more important than 
all our new knowledge. But there 
is no reason why this knowledge 
should not deepen the spirit of rev- 
erence. The Bible is the most won- 
derful of all books, and the more we 
study it, in the fullest light of criti- 
cism, the more we can realize its 
wonder, and feel that it is indeed 
the word of God. 

The Test of Poetry 

By Sara Lowrey 

Truth is the test of poetry. It is 
the supreme test of the worth of all 
forms of literature. The first ques- 
tion one should ask in judging a 
poem is whether or not it is true. 
Does it present a phase of truth? 

The greatness of poetry is judged 
by the universality and permanence 
of the truth it reveals and the clar- 
ity and force with which the truth 
is conveyed. 

I heard William Lyon Phelps 

speak upon the subject "The Ro- 
mance of Science and the Truth of 
Fiction." In illustrating the roman- 
tic aspects of science Mr. Phelps 
spoke of the magic carpet in which 
he was brought through the rain in 
safety and comfort to the lecture 
platform that night. Surely the au- 
tomobile, the airplane and the mod- 
ern train are capable of giving us 
greater adventure than was dreamed 
of in Aladdin's lamp or the magic 

The Test of Poetry 


carpet which transported one of 
faith so swiftly in his dreams. 

Mr. Phelps pointed out, however, 
that scientific formulae are not ne- 
cessarily permanent. A textbook in 
science becomes obsolete within a 
decade. But the truth of fiction is 

We were impressed with the 
truth revealed by Euripides in "The 
Trojan Women" when the play was 
produced in Baylor University dur- 
ing World War II. Many women of 
the modern world experienced a 
captivity tragically similar to that 
of the Greek women depicted in 
the play written more than 2000 
years ago. 

Robinson Jeffers has written a 
free translation of Medea by Euri- 
pides. Judith Anderson is now play- 
ing the title role on the professional 
stage. I heard a professor in a prom- 
inent university say recently that 
Robinson Jeffers is saying to us 
through his poetry: "Man, look at 
what you are making of yourself." 

Over and over the women in this 
play warn Medea not to entertain 
mad thoughts because they will ex- 
press themselves in mad deeds. The 
poet makes it tragically clear that 
vengeance never settles anything 
but causes one's trouble to mount to 
more and more tragic heights. This 
poetic drama is presenting to the 
people of the United States today 
the truth perceived by Euripides 
more than twenty centuries ago. 
This truth is universal and perma- 
nent; and in the atomic era it may 
mean the destruction of civilization 

Poetic form is important only as 
a medium through which truth is 
presented. It is a means only. Its 
worth is in proportion to its clarity 
and force in conveying the truth 
the poet wishes to express. There is 
a saying form is born of spirit. There 
is much truth in this statement, 
though many young aspirants to po- 
etry writing are inclined to take it 
too literally. The more emotional 

speech becomes, the more rhythmi- 
cal. We find rhyme and meter with- 
in Lincoln's second inaugural ad- 

Fondly do we hope, 

Fervently do we pray, 
That this mighty scourge of war 
May speedily pass away. 
Inspiration alone, however, is not 
sufficient cause for clear, forceful 
and consistent form. A poet like 
every other artist should be a good 
craftsman and know basic forms. 
Then he may choose the form which 
will most adequately express his 

Modern poets are frequently in- 
clined not to follow traditional verse 
patterns. Free verse was the result 
of a desire for more freedom in 
rhythmic pattern than was found in 
strict adherence to traditional rhyme 
and meter. This tendency does not 
mean that the modern poets ignore 
rhythm or its importance in convey- 
ing moods and ideas. Archibald Mac- 
Leish explains in his preface to Panic 
that he attempted to find a verse 
form capable of catching and con- 
veying the rhythm of the spoken 
language as typical of the modern 
American speech as Shakespeare's 
rhythm was characteristic of the 
Elizabethan period. This general at- 
titude is maintained by many mod- 
ern poets. 

Poetic forms, or modes of expres- 
sion, change with changing eras; 
just as customs, styles and forms of 
government vary. But basic truth is 
unchangeable. Hence, the story of 
Medea borrowed by Euripides from 
another playwright may be retold 
by Jeffers or any other dramatist 
or poet of and for any era. The 
truth revealed by this story is time- 
less. The new poetic form given by 
Jeffers makes the story more com- 
pelling to a modern audience than 
a literal translation from the Greek. 
Thus, we see that form is important 
as a means of communicating truth, 
but the real test of poetry is wheth- 
er or not it reveals the truth. 


Christian Frontiers 


Little man, little man, 
where have you been? 

Farther and nearer 
than ever were seen. 

Little man, little man, 
what did you there? 

I wakened an atom 
asleep in its lair. 

I shattered the atom 
and shuddered to find 

A power to destroy 
or deliver mankind. 

In the lair of an atom 
where no man had trod, 

I came upon Lucifer 
challenging God. 

— Mary While Slater 

Out of his loneliness he cries, 
And no one hears, 

And though his eyes are dull and 

There are no tears. 

There is a fear that drains the soul 
Like instant death, 
A death that kills the heart but does 
Not stop the breath. 

Your brother stares at changing 

In dark distress, 
Can you stand undisturbed and 

Such loneliness? 

Mabel Pyland Cooper. 


We live by faith, chafe as we may 
at creeds — 

we work the plow of law to fill 
our needs 

and sleep like children, though 

we toss and sigh 
as earth, our cradle swings across 

the sky. 

We read in every sunset's line of 

sunrise will come. The glorious 

fact is old, 
yet like young children fearful of 

night's gloom, 
we wait the moon's pale rise, the 

stars' white bloom. 

Whether we mock or pray or won- 
dering scan, 

or dare to measure God and show 
his plan, 

behind our blunderings stand 
love and pain 

and a still faith in law's eternal 

Whoever waits upon tomorrow's 

trusts God unconsciously. And 

who hopes, gives hostage to the 
future's thrall 

And by that hope declares his faith 
in all. 

—Mary White Slater 

*Reprinted from New York Herald 
Tribune by permission. 

Why Some Good Baptist 
Are Anti-Missionary 

By John T. Wayland 

We are embarrassed to note re- 
peatedly that Southern Baptists are 
near the bottom of the list of de- 
nominations in per capita gifts to 
missions. The reasons for this fact 
are numerous. One of them is that 
our people are, on the average, 
poorer economically than the other 
larger church groups. I don't be- 
lieve we have any more than our 
proportion of indifferent Christians, 
even if we do have a great many 
"sorry" Baptists. Our chief problem 
is that we have a large number of 
Christians in our Baptist Churches 
who are faithful in attendance at di- 
vine worship, who walk circumspect- 
ly, and who are honest and upright 
citizens, a credit to any community, 
but who give almost nothing for 
Kingdom work. Why do these good 
Baptists not support the missionary 

I believe that one of the major 
reasons is found in their theological 
tradition and training and in the 
comfortable condition in which it re- 
sults. This theological tradition 
stems from the teachings of John 
Calvin and is particularly fatal to 
the missionary spirit in an overem- 
phasis on the doctrine of election. 
God's sovereignty is stressed almost 
to the exclusion of man's responsi- 
bility. Calvin wrote "In conformity 
... to the clear doctrine of the 
Scripture, we assert, that by an 
eternal and immutable counsel, God 
has once for all determined, both 
whom he would admit to salvation, 
and whom he would condemn to 
destruction. We affirm that this 
counsel, as far as concerns the elect, 
is founded on his gratuitous mercy, 
totally irrespective of human merit; 
but to those whom he devotes to 
condemnation, the gate of life is 

closed by a just and irreprehensible, 
but incomprehensible, judgment." 1 
Calvin had previously stated in his 
introduction to the doctrine that the 
discussion of it is made "very per- 
plexed, and therefore dangerous, by 
human curiosity, which no barriers 
can restrain from wandering into 
forbidden labyrinths, and soaring 
beyond its sphere, as if determined 
to leave none of the Divine secrets 
unscrutinized or unexplored." 2 

It is our belief that man is totally 
depraved, having within himself 
nothing that may save him; that 
the initiative of salvation is from 
God, and that we are saved by the 
unmerited favor of God. But we also 
believe that we are saved through 
faith, that Christ has died for all 
men, that they are free to choose 
Him if they will, and that they are 
responsible for their choice of heav- 
en or hell. 

Some good Baptists overemphasiz- 
ing the truth of God's election to 
salvation to the near exclusion of 
man's free will and responsibility 
lead themselves to many errors. 
The first is a wrong conception of 
the great idea of a "chosen people." 
A chosen people that exults in its 
own noble position soon partakes 
of the spirit of Pharisaism and self- 
satisfaction. When activated this at- 
titude may issue in the idea of a 
superior race and order a concen- 
tration camp for others outside the 
chosen group. But with some of our 
Baptist friends who make God 
wholly responsible for His world it 

1 Hugh Thompson Kerr, Jr., ed, 
Compend of the Institutes of the 
Christian Religion by John Calvin, 
p. 129. 

2 Ibid. 



Christian Frontiers 

issues in a very comforting and com- 
fortable quiescence. God will save 
those whom He pleases when He 
pleases and I need not, indeed can 
not do anything about it. This view 
fits perfectly the weaknesses of hu- 
man nature. It is an encouragement 
to ignorance, for there is no need to 
know about the peoples afar and 
missions to them. It is a comfort to 
miserliness, for there is no call to 
share. It is an invitation to laziness. 
Why organize to send those who need 
not go? 

This citadel of anti-missionary 
spirit is particularly difficult to over- 
come because, being centered on it- 
self, it does not appreciate outside 
"interference." There is a distrust 
of education. One of our Baptist 
ministers was offered the gift of a 
farm by his uncle if he would prom- 
ise not to go to college and be 
"ruined." There is also inbreeding 
in ministerial supply and call. Few 
pastors are called from outside the 
community. There are plenty avail- 
able inside and they are relatives 
and dear friends. Since men are 
mightily moved by the grace of God 
and called to the Gospel ministry in 
large numbers, some churches have 

several ordained ministers in the 
congregation and sometimes more 
than one is pastor at the same time, 
The tradition of the annual call pre- 
vails. The bountiful grace of God 
and the horrible judgment of God 
are preached in turn for the win- 
ning of the lost, and the chosen 
people rejoice in their salvation, but 
of their responsibility to God for 
the carrying of the Gospel to others 
nothing is said. Somehow or other 
the truth with which the Bible is 
filled, namely, that God's people arc 
elected to fulfill His divine pur- 
pose, is overlooked. There is a fail- 
ure to hear God's "and be thou a 
blessing" which follows immediate- 
ly upon "I will bless thee." 

Somehow young ministers from 
this anti-missionary group of good 
Baptists must be sent to our Semi-, 
naries and exposed to the whole 
truth of the Gospel and then sent 
back to be missionaries to a people 
who dwell in the twilight. Thus fax 
those who have come out have be- 
come powerful preachers in out 
largest churches. Meanwhile preach- 
ers of their own blood are in twi- 
light, a chosen people without Ji 

The Tragedy Of Misplaced Emphasis 

By S. L. Morgan, Sr. 

Now for some time this writer's 
role has been to sit on the side- 
lines and watch the game go on. 

He has had the privileged role 
of the listener to a great variety of 
preachers and other speakers. He 
always listens with sympathy, look- 
ing for the best, and nearly always 
finding something profitable. But 
far too often the theme of preacher 
or teacher has been commonplace, 
when just as easily and appropriate- 
ly one might have chosen the fun- 

damental, the vital, the essential 
Too often the hearer was left witfc 
a poignant sense of having been tri- 
fled with by the speaker, as though 
he thought the hearer wished to be 
given something pretty and enter- 
taining, and cared not to be stirred; 
to great living and doing. And toe 
often the main emphasis was put or 
a minor instead of a major doctrine 
or practice. 

In the writer's role as listenei 
nothing has seemed more astonish 

The Tragedy of Misplaced Emphasis 


ng than the lack of discrimination 
between what one may and what one 
nust believe. Often major emphasis 
was put on what one may believe, 
Dut which is not essential. The re- 
ult of such misplaced emphasis too 
bften has proved tragic, even to the 
Loss of faith in the essential. The 
most obvious example of this is em- 
phasis on the verbal inspiration and 
the infallibility of the Bible, even 
in matters of science. Because of 
ihis misplaced emphasis thousands 
Df devout souls in the past lost all 
faith in the Bible and threw it over- 
ooard, as science began to prove that 
the world and life in it did not spring 
into being in seven days, but had 
oeen in the making perhaps millions 
Df years. It was the tragedy of em- 
phasis on the letter of Scripture, 
instead of on its essence as a re- 
pealer of God and the way of sal- 
vation and life. Here are three in- 
stances of misplaced emphasis. 

1. God the Creator Versus a 
Theory of Creation 

This writer has sometimes been 
alarmed on hearing a preacher or 
teacher with perfervid earnestness 
urging young people especially to 
accept all the Bible as the infallible 
word of God, and pronouncing the 
2urse of Rev. 22:19 on anyone who 
didn't believe it "from cover to 
:over." And even illustrated it by 
the Genesis theory of creation in 
seven days, or God's alleged com- 
mand to slaughter captive women 
and children, even to "infants and 
sucklings." Especially with thought- 
ful young people such a challenge 
is perilous to faith in God, faith in 
;he Bible. One cringed, knowing that 
intelligent high school and college 
students would surely set over 
against the seven-day theory of cre- 
ation the certain knowledge of sci- 
ence that the earth and all life have 
been evolving through ages, and 
that they would protest inwardly, 
If I must accept that view of the 
Bible, I'll let it go!" and "If the 

God of the Old Testament could give 
such a savage order, away with it 
and Him!" 

Another speaker, by contrast, told 
a great chapel group of young peo- 
ple: Beware of misplaced emphasis 
on religion! I warn you out of pain- 
ful experience. In my first year in 
college I faced the issue of empha- 
sis. I had been taught to put it on 
faith in the exact language of the 
Bible, including the seven-day cre- 
ation. And here I was facing the 
demonstrated proof of science of a 
long process in creation. He told of 
going to a godly professor with his 
faith-shattering problem: "If I have 
to accept any theory of evolution, 
my Bible is gone! I see no alterna- 
tive." The professor assured him the 
Bible was not given to teach sci- 
ence, but the way to God and life. 

Gradually Christian people felt 
their way to solid ground through 
that cataclysm of evolution, and now 
see that they were upset only 
through holding a wrong view of 
what the Bible really is. The es- 
sence of its message is this, and this 
alone: All that matters is God and 
man's relation to him. And we are 
able to say with assurance, "Here 
is the created universe — miracle of 
miracles! Explain it without a great 
God back of it, you cannot. How 
he created it — in a moment, in seven 
days, or in a million years, is not 
vital. Put the emphasis where the 
Bible, rightly understood, puts it, 
on the mighty Creator, and rest your 
faith there and be at peace." That 
emphasis is safe — and saving. To 
put emphasis on the letter of the 
Genesis story is to misunderstand 
the purpose of the Bible and is per- 

2. The Person of Christ versus a 
Theory About His Birth 

A distinguished preacher was 
heard in an able address to empha- 
size the virgin birth as "a destiny- 
determining truth," since he re- 
garded it as essential to establish- 


Christian Frontiers 

ing the deity of Christ. To doubt 
the virgin birth, therefore, was to 
doubt his deity and to forfeit faith 
in his saviorhood. It was perilously 
close to declaring that faith in the 
virgin birth is esseniial to salvation! 
That is a hazardous statement, for- 
tunately not true. 

One's salvation depends on faith 
and obedience to Christ as divine 
Lord, not on how he was born. And 
it is hazardous to base his divine 
lordship on how he was born. E. 
Stanley Jones saw this clearly in a 
round table discussion in India when 
he was grilled for hours by a group 
of keen Indians trying to disprove 
the claims of Christianity. He fo- 
cused the discussion on the sinless, 
majestic PERSON OF CHRIST. He 
refused to discuss any minor mat- 
ter (e. g., the virgin birth). He chal- 
lenged: "There HE is; do your worst 
to HIM! HE is Christianity, its es- 
sence, its irreducible Minimum. If 
HE stands, Christianity stands with 
HIM." And all their shafts of criti- 
cism fell flat before the majestic 
'TACT OF CHRIST." As he came 
out a friend said to him eagerly, "I 
almost collapsed from tense anxiety, 
fearing you would not make good 
the claims of Christianity." He an- 
swered, "I felt perfectly at ease; I 
knew Christ could take care of him- 
self, if only the issue were held on 

There is a partial parallel in the 
theories of creation. Make a simi- 
lar challenge to the doubting mind: 
"There is the created universe ■ — 
that is the great MIRACLE; do your 
worst to the Genesis story; account 
for such a miracle apart from the 
great God of the story, you cannot. 
Focus your attention on the FACT 
OF THE MIRACLE; not on how it 
was created — whether in a moment, 
in seven days, or in a million mil- 
lion years. The miracle of the cre- 
ation, the miracle of the PERSON 
OF CHRIST, each stands secure in 
its own right as divine, self-au- 
thenticating, with no need of any 

bolstering. To try to bolster it by 
any attention to the how of the mir- 
acle is to confuse the mind and 
weaken the self-authenticating ap- 
peal of the miracle itself. The ap- 
proach of Dr. Jones to the virgin 
birth is the sounder and safer. He!' 
accepts the virgin. birth but by rea- 
soning back to it from the miracu- 
lous PERSON of Christ— not the op- 
posite: given such a PERSON, it is 
natural and easy to believe he had 
a unique birth. And thus the virgin 
birth makes it easier to believe in 
the divinity of Christ. But to make 
his divinity contingent on how he 
was born is utterly another matter, 
and is unwarranted — and hazardous. 
What mortal dares to say how God 
must make a universe, or how he 
must have made Jesus into the di- 
vine being he was! To assume that 
it must have been by a virgin birth 
is both daring and hazardous. Who 
dares to say that God might not 
choose rather to infuse into the mir- 
acle of gradual, ordinary growth the 
added miracle of a greater interplay 
of the divine Spirit? 

And despite the fascinating stor- 
ies of the miraculous birth in Mat- 
thew and Luke, at least a shadow of! 
doubt about the virgin birth lingers 
round it in a multitude of the keen- 
est and devoutest minds. Many of 
them believe unwaveringly in the 
deity of Christ regardless of the vir- 
gin birth, just as many hold un- 
waveringly that God was the agent 
in creation regardless of whether he 
created in seven days or by an age- 
long process. And their arguments 1 
command respect: namely, that so 
far as we know, neither Jesus nor 
Paul ever mentioned the virgin 
birth; that only after years was 
there any doctrine of the virgin 
birth, or any serious discussion of! 
it, among the early disciples, and ( 
that the doctrine slowly grew up] 
parallel to the Roman Catholic doc- 
trine of Mary as the "Mother of 
God." And these arguments give us; 
pause the more because it is well 

The Tragedy of Misplaced Emphasis 


known that other peoples and reli- 
gions have their traditions of virgin 
births of their heroes. For those rea- 
sons it is even hazardous to base 
the "destiny-determining doctrine" 
of the divinity of Christ as Lord on 
so insecure a foundation as a doc- 
trine of the virgin birth. With Stan- 
ley Jones rather, gaze on the mar- 
needs no prop to support his claim 
to be the divine son of God. He 
stands majestic in his own right, 
his divinity self-authenticating to 
the reverent mind by something in 
him that commands one's homage. 

3. The Bible In lis Essence versus 
a Theory of Inspiration 

Judged by the consequences, the 
Christian centuries record no great- 
er tragedy than that of exalting this 
or that theory of inspiration above 
the essence of the Bible itself. Espe- 
cially since Luther and Calvin set 
'the plain sense of Scripture" 
against the authority of the Roman 
Church, a rigid theory of verbal in- 
spiration has worked havoc. The al- 
leged commands of Jehovah to 
slaughter Israel's enemies were 
quoted to justify the Crusades — the 
slaughter of "infidels" by "Chris- 
tians" — and even lately have been 
quoted often to justify the slaugh- 
ter of Germans and Japanese. On 
the "authority" of "the plain word 
of Scripture" Gallileo was impris- 
oned for teaching the earth is round. 
Dn a plain Mosaic command, "Thou 
phalt not suffer a witch to live," 
100,000 wretches, many of them de- 
mented, were slaughtered as witches 
in Europe and 20 in Salem, Mass. 

Even such crimes, revolting as 
;hey are, committed on the supposed 
authority of "the plain word of God," 
ire perhaps not the greatest injury 
lone by exalting the mere letter of 
;he Scripture. Even greater, because 
nore widespread and continuous, is 
;he injury to multitudes of thinking 
people, especially to youth, by the 
ommon teaching that all the Bible 
.s equally inspired and so on the 

same moral level, and without eith- 
er textual or scientific errors. 
Thoughtful youth soon discovers 
that the God of the early Old Test- 
ament stories is represented as do- 
ing unethical and cruel things. They 
discover statements of fact contra- 
dicted by the plain teaching of sci- 
ence. They learn that many slight 
errors crept into the text of Scrip- 
ture. With such knowledge it is per- 
ilous to youth to insist, as many still 
do, that one must believe the Bible 
"from cover to cover." For tradition- 
ally this has meant that every word 
must be left to mean "exactly what 
it says." Left alone without careful 
definition, this means that all acts 
and commands attributed to God are 
right, that the Bible writer's point 
of view is always correct, regardless 
of the present consensus of science, 
and that the Bible is free from er- 
rors of every sort. 

Such a view of the Bible soon 
ceases to satisfy the thoughtful, and 
easily plays into the hands of its 
enemies. Why were Tom Paine and 
Robert G. Ingersoll able to sweep 
thousands into doubt or positive 
scepticism? Precisely because such 
extravagant claims made for the Bi- 
ble by its friends were easy to ex- 
plode. They were so for either 
friendly or unfriendly critics. To 
claim too much and to have those 
claims disproved has forfeited the 
faith of thousands in the Bible. The 
only safety is in carefully teaching 
that the Bible is a progressive reve- 
lation, the older portions often set- 
ting forth unethical concepts, even 
of a God who was vengeful and 
cruel at times. Jesus expressly de- 
clared this as the proper attitude to 
the Old Testament. Repeatedly in 
the Sermon on the Mount he says, 
"They of old time said this, and 
this; but I give you a new and 
higher concept of God and his re- 
quirements." Equally important, we 
must not insist that the Bible be 
held to accuracy in matters of sci- 
ence or psychology or philosophy or 


Christian Frontiers 

the cause of a disease, but only that 
it is a safe and sure guide for find- 
ing God and salvation in him. 

The same method is proposed to 
establish the divine quality of the 
Bible as that proposed to establish 
the certainty of a great God back of 
the universe, or to establish the di- 
vinity of Christ: There is THE 
BOOK; do your worst to it; point 
out the unethical character attrib- 
uted to God in the early books of 
the Bible — and go to the New Tes- 
tament and correct that concept by 
the concept presented by the God 
and Father of Jesus; point out, if 
you will, the low moral standard of 
even some of the Mosaic laws — and 
correct them by the higher ethical 
standard of Jesus: "They of old time 
said . . . but I say." Charge, if you 
will, that it has errors of science 
and psychology and other ideas lim- 
ited by the dim knowledge of that 
distant day; but discredit it in its 
own special field, you cannot — God 
and sin and salvation. In that field 
it stands supreme and alone among 
all the books of the world, entitled 
to be called THE BOOK. It certifies 
itself to the religious sense by an 
incomparable divine quality. So it 
has done for millions who have de- 
clared sincerely in the famous phrase 
of Coleridge, "It finds me." Or in a 
more famous phrase, "Never man 
spake like this." It makes this unique 
impression on the religious sense be- 
cause the essence of it amazingly fits 

man's need. In How to Read the 
Bible Goodspeed sums up his impres- 
sion of the Bible by saying, "Its chief 
significance for all of us is its amaz- 
ing sense of the nearness and indeed 
the presence of God." Men feel "it 
somehow brings them near to God; 
they even seem to find him in its 

This amazing, self-authenticating, 
transforming power of the Bible is 
proved in the life of peoples and na- 
tions. The Jews loved it passion- 
ately and became the "people of a i 
Book," and through the ages the 
Book made them a people apart, one 
of the marvels of history. Green im 
his History of the English People, 
declares that the eager reading of; 
the Bible printed in the language of 
the plain people completely changed 
the moral tone of the entire nation. 
Our soldiers in the late war found 
nothing more amazing in the South 
Seas than what the Bible had done 
to turn the fuzzy-headed cannibals 
into beautiful, Bible-reading, church- 
going Christians. 

And one is not left to the testi- 
mony of others; one may prove the 
Bible is divine in his own experi- 
ence. It is the scientific test — that 
proposed by Jesus to test his own. 
divineness and that of the words he. 
spoke: "Will to do his will," and one 
comes to know. Obey the Book, and 
one proves it divine to his own! 
heart, because it is found to fit his 

Communism: What It Is 
And What To Do About It 

By Kelley Barneii 

Communism is on our nerves. At 
home Communism is a nuisance, it 
irritates us; abroad, it is danger num- 
ber one, it scares us. However, Com- 
munism cannot be overcome in a 
mood of irritation and fear. In fight- 
ing Communism we must know the 
facts. Furthermore, Communism 
must be fought within the frame- 
work of Democracy. Our Democracy 
will be destroyed from within if we 
become a fascistic nation in our at- 
tempts to oppose Communism. Re- 
member Hitler? He enslaved Ger- 
many in order to save her from the 
chains of Russia. It is the purpose of 
this article to set forth within a 
Limited space the facts concerning 
Communism and to make some sug- 
gestions as to how Communism may 
be fought within the framework of 

Communism was born one hun- 
ired years ago at that point in his- 
tory when the Industrial Revolution 
was enriching the owners and mak- 
ing the conditions of the worker 
onbearable. Children eleven and 
twelve years of age went to work 
in the mines and factories before 
iaybreak and stumbled home after 
lark to their wretched hovels. Con- 
litions of work were unsanitary and 
iangerous. Furthermore the organi- 
zation of labor unions was forbid- 

The deplorable conditions of the 
workers did not go unnoticed. Rob- 
rt Owen in England and Saint Si- 
mon in France advocated forms of 
socialism. They sought to solve the 
problem by peaceful reform and so- 
cial legislation. Lord Shaftesbury 
Led England to pass a number of 
mportant acts helping the worker. 
These acts included: Mines and Col- 
ieries Act, 1842, the Factory Act of 

1847, and the Lodging House Statutes, 
1851. Shaftesbury met the needs of 
the workers within the framework 
of English Democracy. 

However, two young men, Fred- 
erich Engels, son of a German tex- 
tile manufacturer, and Karl Marx, 
descendant of a long line of Jewish 
Rabbis, had another answer for the 
misery of the workers — Communism. 
They gave their answer to the world 
in February, 1848, by the publication 
of the Communist Manifesto. 

Let us examine briefly the con- 
tentions of this Manifesto and the 
ideas which developed out of it. 
Humanity is divided into social 
classes. These classes at any pe- 
riod in history are derived from the 
nature of the economic system. Two 
classes were produced by the Indus- 
trial Revolution: the bourgeoisie 
(shop keepers or owners) those who 
own the factories; and the Prole- 
tariat (those who have no property), 
those who work for wages in the 
factories. Marx was convinced that 
the workers were being cheated by 
the owners. As he saw it the worker 
produced enough to pay for his 
wages, but he also produced more, 
a surplus which as profit went into 
the pocket of the owner. A man's la- 
bor was simply a commodity to be 
bought as an instrument in the pro- 
duction of goods and to be discarded 
when the worker's strength was 

Labor must have the surplus it 
produced. But how? Marx dismissed 
the proposals of Saint Simon, Fou- 
rier and others of this school as 
Utopian and foolish. Nor did he have 
any hope that reform by social leg- 
islation such as advocated by 
Shaftesbury would be successful. 
These men had trusted in reason, 



Christian Frontiers 

justice and humanitarianism to help 
the workers. But for Marx, reason, 
justice, and sympathy were so many 
empty words, behind which Capital- 
ism hid to do its exploitation. For 
Marx there was only one answer — 
Revolution. For he thought that the 
State could not be depended on for 
reform since the State is controlled, 
not by its legislators, but by the 
bourgeoisie that buy legislators by 
the dozens. 

What about religion as a means 
of reform? "Of course not," Marx 
would say, "religion is the opium of 
the masses lulling the indignant 
worker into docility." Expect the 
owners to share the profit? None- 
sense! Marx would argue, no ruling 
class has ever voluntarily released 
its power. At the point of the bay- 
onet the ruling class becomes unsel- 
fish. For Marx there was only one 
answer, the violent overthrow of 
Capitalism and with it the class 
state. Then on the ruins under the 
direction of the dictatorship of the 
Proletariat a classless society of 
communal ownership would be es- 

In order to stabilize this new order 
it would be necessary for the Prole- 
tariat to set up a temporary dicta- 
torship. However, as soon as all dan- 
ger of a counter revolution is passed 
the dictatorship will voluntarily lay 
down its power and the workers 
will rule. This is the Communist 

The aim of Communism, then, is 
to replace Capitalism with commun- 
al ownership, the modern state with 
a classless state and in so doing de- 
stroy religion, for religion prolongs 
the rule of the bourgeoisie. This 
aim is achieved by revolution. 

Marx was hardheaded. He was 
not concerned about a dramatic rev- 
olution in which people go on a 
lark, bang guns, drive the govern- 
ment in exile, elect a new President 
and go back to work. For Marx the 
revolution must be completely suc- 
cessful. No revolution should be at- 

tempted until the decisive momen 
had come — the moment that madi 
the success of the Revolution cer 

Communism teaches that it is th. 
task of the working class to brinj 
about the decisive moment, of revo 
lution. But the working class wil 
not revolt until it sees the true na 
ture of its conditions. To prepar< 
the working class for revolution i 
the task of Communism. In othe 
words, the working class must hav 
the scales removed from its eye,: 
As a class it must come to see tha 
religion is only a delirium, that then 
is no real justice in a state domi; 
nated by Capitalists, and that revo 
lution is the only answer. 

Marx knew that only desperatioi 
or a reasonable assurance of sue 
cess will lead men to risk their neck 
in revolt against entrenched power 
Marx was sure that the lot of th 
workers would worsen, thereby pro 
viding the desperation; he was alsi 
certain that the revolt would be sue 
cessful, for Marx thought that clas 
struggle was inevitable and that tb. 
working class would win. Marx, h 
other words, did not think that h 
was setting forth a theory; he wa 
convinced that he had found thi 
clue to history and could therefor 
predict the outcome of the struggle! 
His certainty was so great that hi 
openly stated in the Manifesto: 

"Communists scorn to hide thei 
aims and views. They openly de 
clare that their purposes can onl; 
be achieved by the forcible over 
throw of the whole extant social or 
der. Let the ruling classes trembl 
at the prospect of a communist rev 
olution. Proletarians have nothing t 
lose but their chains. They have 
world to win. Proletarians of a. 
lands, unite!" 

Obviously we can expect a num 
ber of differences between Corr 
munism as set forth by Marx an 
Engels a hundred years ago an 
Communism as practiced by Sovie 
Russia. However, these difference 

Communism: What It Is and What To Do About It 


need not concern us. Yesterday and 
today the fundamental aim of Com- 
munism is a world-wide classless 
society, a society that will come 
about as nation by nation is over- 
come by communist strategy. The 
steps are the arousing of the Pro- 
letariat, the weakening of the own- 
ers and the destruction of the State, 
followed by the dictatorship of the 
Proletariat. However, we have yet 
to see in any nation the dictator- 
ship surrendering their power to the 

As we face the problem of Com- 
munism at home and abroad it is 
well to remember that we are deal- 
ing with a ruthless, realistic foe 
that long ago discarded the moral 
and religious restraints of western 
civilization, holding that good is 
that which promotes the world rev- 
olution and bad is that which de- 
stroys it. 

Furthermore we are dealing with 

ffoes who are fanatically convinced 

that they have discovered the key 

to history and that they therefore 

are bound to succeed. We are deal- 
ing with a people who cherish reli- 
giously a hope that there is a new 
world, a borning of happiness and 
peace. Our foe is therefore armed 
to the teeth with self-assurance that 
amounts to a suicidal devotion to a 

Recent success in Europe has 
added to this assurance. Save for one 
major setback, the failure of Italy 
to go Communistic, the Soviet Un- 
ion has been successful in her ef- 
forts to spread her gospel. Since 
1945 fifteen nations with a popula- 
tion of 300 million have gone Com- 
munist. In other words as far as 
population is concerned twice the 
number of people in the U. S. have 
come under the hammer and sickle 
in the last three years. 

The aim of Communism is a world 
revolution in which a society resting 
on communal ownership will replace 
our present order. Communism's 
immediate aim is to strengthen the 
Soviet Union, the spearhead of the 
Proletarian revolution. 


DAS KELLY BARNETT is Columbus Roberts Professor of Sociology, Mer- 
cer University, Macon. Ga. Dr. Barnett was formerly editor of 
Christian Froniiers. 

'SARA LOWREY is in the Department of Speech, Baylor University, Waco, 
Texas. Miss Lowrey is poetry editor of Christian Frontiers. 


L. MORGAN is a retired Baptist minister living in Wake Forest, N. C. 
Mr. Morgan has contributed articles frequently to this publication 
and others throughout the South, 

ERNEST F. SCOTT is Professor Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary, 
New York, N. Y. Eminent New Testament scholar and author of 
The Varieties of New Testament Religion, The Nature of the Early 
Church, and The Beginnings of the Church. 

iijMARY WHITE SLATER lives in Ironton, Ohio. Her poem "Huntsman" is 
reprinted from the New York Herald-Tribune by permission. 

J OKU T. WAYLAND is Pastor of the First Baptist Church in North 
Wilkesboro, N. C. 

LANNEAU D. LIDE is Judge, Twelfth Judicial District, retired, in Marion, 
S. C. 

ABEL PYLAND COOPER is a frequent contributor of poetry to various 
publications and lives in Dallas, Texas, where she is president of 
the Dallas Dramatic Readers Club and secretary the Texas Poetry 




P. O. Box 2144 
Fort Worth 1, Texas 
September 23, 1948 

Editors, Christian Frontiers 
Box 508 

Chapel Hill, N. C. 

Dear Sirs, 

Some circles in American reli- 
gious life have developed a distaste 
for some of the traditional denomi- 
national names. Certain group names 
seem to these to be consistent with 
Christian principles while others, 
such as Baptist, are regarded as un- 
worthy designations for Christian 
groups. Now the principles which 
historically separate Baptists from 
other Christian bodies seem to me 
to have a fundamental validity. If 
by clinging to regenerate church 
membership, congregational govern- 
ment, and complete freedom of con- 
science I stand to be called a Bap- 
tist, I cannot be ashamed of the 
name. However, there has arisen 
among us the use of a particular 
term which seems to me to be un- 
fortunate. I have in mind the fre- 
quency with which one meets the 
expression "Southern Baptist." 

There are times when Southern 
Baptists as a group need to be dis- 

tinguished from other Baptist 
groups. In such cases the term is 
quite necessary; however, coie meets 
the phrase so often where "Baptist" 
alone would do so well that the; 
"Southern" seems not only super- 
fluous but also anomalous. In fact 
the two words flow together so 
freely from certain lips and pens 
that the spelling "Southern-baptist" 
appears natural, with "Southern" 
taking the capital. The implication of 
the way this expression is used is} 
that a Southern Baptist is a very\ 
special kind of Baptist. This is at 
once both false and foolish. The 
things that make the name Baptist 
worth bearing are shared by us with 
Baptists wherever they are found 
throughout the world. If there is 
anything which distinguishes us 
from other Baptists, it is the fact 
that we were born in the defense 
of slavery and have less of the 
Christian spirit of cooperation than 
our brothers. I cannot see that 
either of these is anything to be 1 
proud of. Let us speak of ourselves 
as Christians whenever possible, 
but when the use of a denomina- 
tional name is needed, please, let 
us be just plain Baptists.